At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many military personnel were sent to the frontlines to support hospitals and other medical care facilities. Consequently, the Department of Defense has recorded more than 453,000 cases of COVID-19 among service members. However, today, Veterans and other military members have much more to stress about when it comes to this illness. Not only do they have to worry about contracting COVID, but they now have to worry about the long-term effects of this devastating illness. As a result, many Veterans have questioned how the VA will handle long-term COVID and whether they will be able to receive the compensation they deserve.
What Does Long Covid Mean?
Long-term COVID refers to the symptoms that impact those who were sick with COVID and recovered from the primary illness. These symptoms can arise at any point after the initial infection and persist or worsen over time.
Anyone who dealt with COVID-19 is at risk of getting these symptoms, which generally include the following:
- Fatigue that affects daily life
- A changed sense of smell or taste
- Breath shortness
- A nagging cough
- Heart racing, chest pain, palpitations
- Dizziness and balance issues
- Vision problems
- Increased depression, stress, trouble sleeping, and anxiety
- Abdominal pain
VA Benefits and Long COVID-19
According to law, a service member who had COVID symptoms during certain periods may qualify for specific types of benefits from the VA related to their COVID-19 illness. For instance:
- A service member who developed COVID-19 symptoms while they were on activity duty for at least 48 hours between March 1, 2020, and January 5, 2024
- A service member who developed COVID-19 symptoms up to 14 days after at least 48 hours of active-duty service between the dates of March 1, 2020, and January 5, 2024
- A service member who developed COVID-19 symptoms on (or up to 14 days after) active duty for training, Title 10, or full-time National Guard Orders between March 13, 2020, and January 5, 2024
Under these regulations, any service member who was diagnosed with COVID during the above periods is assumed to have developed the illness because of their military service. Consequently, any long COVID conditions are also considered to be service-connected.
However, if you do not fall into one of these periods, you may still be able to obtain VA benefits for long COVID, but the VA will need to review your situation individually to determine whether you are eligible for the benefits.
Contact Veterans Benefit Group of Goodman Allen Donnelly for More Information On Appealing VA Decisions Regarding Long COVID
If you are looking to appeal a VA Decision regarding long COVID symptoms contact the Veterans Benefit Group of Goodman Allen Donnelly immediately. Our legal team has been providing support to Veterans and their family members for years, and with over 67 years of collected legal experience, we know what it takes to fight for the compensation and justice you deserve. Do not wait. Contact us today to see how our dedicated attorneys can help you.