In COVID-19-related workers’ compensation claims, 6% of workers who filed a claim developed long COVID, according to a new study.
Workers’ Compensation Research Institute researchers found that “at an average of 18 months of post-infection experience, these workers received more than 20 weeks of temporary disability benefits and received an average of $29,000 in medical care,” according to Business Insurance.
That’s 10 times more than “what was spent on workers who were not treated for long-term health issues.”
Researchers looked at COVID-19 cases of workers infected between March 2020 and September 2021 in 31 states, collecting information on medical care and income benefits provided through the end of March 2022.
The study also found that workers who had to be placed in an intensive care unit for their initial COVID-19 infection were more likely to get long COVID symptoms. Seventy-four percent of these workers received medical services for symptoms that included “a long list of ailments” involving chronic cough, chest pain, fatigue and anxiety. For those hospitalized but not placed into an ICU, 46% suffered from post-infection health problems.
Workers who needed only limited hospital treatment were better off with 20% with two days of medical care and 5% with just one day of services suffering from long COVID symptoms.