Most individuals with COVID-19 get better within weeks, but some continue to experience symptoms that can persist for a long time after their initial recovery, or may even develop new symptoms. This condition is commonly referred to as “long COVID” and can impact anyone, even those who only had mild symptoms. According to the CDC, health inequities may put some populations at greater risk for developing post-COVID conditions.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently developed two reports that outline the Biden Administration’s plans to address Long COVID and associated conditions. The National Research Action Plan on Long COVID discusses current research and outlines future areas of study to better understand prevention and treatment of Long COVID.
The Services and Supports for Longer-Term Impacts of COVID-19 Report includes resources for people impacted by Long-COVID and COVID-19’s broader effects, including mental health and substance use and loss of caregivers and loved ones. These include resources, such as legal services, housing and community-living supports, and aging networks to help people impacted by COVID-19 who need assistance to live in their own home, go to work or school, or participate in the community.
As described in the report, legal services providers can help older adults with long COVID access long-term care options and other community-based services, and also can provide representation in matters to protect legal rights, independence, choices, and financial security. People with long COVID may need assistance in obtaining benefits, accessing housing relief programs, and obtaining health care coverage.
The following resources provide more information on long COVID and how legal and elder rights advocates can assist impacted individuals:
- NCLER Training: Accessing Benefits and Supports for Older Adults with Long COVID (Recording, Slides, & Resource Guide)
- COVID.gov: Long COVID (includes links to reports, resources and information)
- National Institutes of Health: Studying Long COVID Might Help Others With Post-Viral Fatigue Ailments
- Medicare.gov: Medicare Coverage, COVID-19
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Mandatory Medicaid and CHIP Coverage of COVID- 19-Related Treatment under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
- Department of Health & Human Services: Guidance on “Long COVID” as a Disability Under the ADA, Section 504, and Section 1557