Serious "long COVID" symptoms could qualify as a disability and make patients eligible for federal assistance, President Joe Biden said Monday.
Some recovered COVID-19 patients have lasting problems such as fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, fever and double vision, which "can sometimes rise to the level of a disability," Biden said during a White House event marking the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, NBC News reported.
"We're bringing agencies together to make sure Americans with long COVID who have a disability have access to the rights and resources that are due under the disability law, which includes accommodations and services in the workplace and school, and our health care system, so they can live their lives in dignity," Biden said.
Guidelines to help these patients navigate federal benefits have been released by the departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Education and Labor, but they make clear that long-term COVID does not automatically qualify as a disability, NBC News reported.
An "individualized assessment is necessary to determine whether a person's long COVID condition or any of its symptoms substantially limits a major life activity," the HHS guidance states.
It adds that people with long COVID may qualify for "reasonable modifications" at work or in schools, as well as community-based resources that provide assistance with medical care and housing.
There is little medical treatment available for long COVID patients.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on long COVID.