Since the coronavirus pandemic began, we have seen an increase in COVID-19 long haulers who are now debilitated by COVID-induced POTS or Nervous system disorders.
We have been appealing Long Term Disability Insurance denials for clients suffering from POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) and other Nervous System Disorders for many years. And we have found that many physicians are unfamiliar with POTS, so it can take years for clients to receive a proper diagnosis. And when insurance companies don’t understand POTS, it leads to the denial of long-term disability insurance benefits.
According to the Director of the John Hopkins POTS Program, Tae Chung, M.D. , some researchers believe that coronavirus can be a trigger for POTS. And they are seeing an increased number of people who recovered from COVID-19, but who are now experiencing POTS-like symptoms, such as brain fog, dizziness, tachycardia (increased heart rate) and severe chronic fatigue. This similarity in symptoms led doctors to start testing patients for POTS.
Moreover, since coronavirus and post-corona symptoms are uncharted areas, COVID–induced POTS or Nervous System Disorders are often misdiagnosed as anxiety, lingering effects of COVID-19, or sometimes as psychological symptoms.
Listen to Dr Chung explain why these symptoms are real and not just in your head: https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/mysterious-covid-symptoms-patients-heads
What is POTS?
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome or POTS is a debilitating chronic condition that affects the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS is responsible for involuntary movements in the body. POTS is a form of dysautonomia or a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. Think of it as a malfunction of automatic body functions.
Our body performs many actions without us consciously sending signals from our brain to the associated muscles or organs. We do not instruct our heart to beat or maintain blood pressure, our lungs to respire, or our digestive system to breakdown food. All of this is conducted by the ANS, and POTS is a syndrome that causes this autonomic dysfunction
When this system is damaged, the result can be disabling and cause widespread, unpredictable symptoms. And there is no real cure.
POTS Symptoms include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic headaches
- Brain fog
- Memory problems
- Tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute)
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Spiking pulse rate with minimal or mild physical activity
- Chronic nausea and vomiting
- An inability to exert oneself
- difficulty thinking, concentrating, or communicating.
A person diagnosed with POTS can suffer an irregular heartbeat with minimal exertion. And an irregular heartbeat reduces the blood supply to the brain and can cause them to pass out. The simple act of standing up can become difficult for a person with POTS.
We had a former POTS client who would stand up from a seated position and her heart rate would elevate to 130 bpm (beats per minute). At other times getting up from sitting would make her heart rate drop to 40 bpm.
POTS comes under the larger umbrella of Dysautonomia
Dysautonomia is a term for the dysfunctioning of the automatic nervous system. Autonomic dysfunction is the body’s over reaction or under reaction to stimulus.
Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system causes different symptoms for different people. Therefore the diagnosis may be different depending on the symptoms: POTS, orthostatic intolerance, neuro-cardiogenic syncope, or Dysautonomia.
The Link between POTS And COVID-19
We know viral infections like the flu and SARS can induce POTS. Recent observations have led the medical community to believe that COVID-19 may also cause POTS syndrome in some individuals. But it is unknown who gets COVID induced POTS or Nervous System Disorders, or why.
Currently there is no clear distinction of who in the population may develop post COVID-19 POTS. And the severity of coronavirus infection also does not determine whether a person will be affected by POTS. Healthy people in the age group of 20-40 years old with mild COVID symptoms have also contracted COVID induced POTS
Long-Term Disability Benefits For COVID Induced POTS
Although the basic symptoms of POTS has already been well defined, the syndrome is often misdiagnosed. On average, it can take up to five years to identify POTS properly and for the right course of treatment to start.
Depending on the severity of the damage caused by this syndrome, a person may be unable to hold employment. In which case their long-term disability insurance should kick in.
In an ideal scenario, you should be able to access those benefits. But considering POTS is frequently misdiagnosed and misunderstood, COVID induced POTS is even less likely to be recognized. Consequently the disability insurer will most likely deny your claim, which is where you would want to give us a call!
Not Just Mental But Physical
Earlier, it was clear that the global pandemic mentally affected a massive portion of the population. The stress and social isolation were responsible for much of the spike in mental stress, anxiety, and depression.
But now, it is evident that the pandemic leaves not just long-term mental symptoms but physical ones too. If you have suffered from COVID and are still struggling with post-symptoms like POTS, you are not alone. If those lingering effects render you unable to return to work, you may be entitled to long-term disability (LTD) benefits.
The process to access those benefits involves demonstrating that you cannot work under your current health conditions (physical or psychological). Get a doctor or medical specialist to confirm the same to make sure your claim is not denied.
What We Do
We are ERISA Disability Insurance attorneys, and we focus our practice on employer-provided Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance. If your Long Term Disability Insurance benefit has been denied by the insurance company, we appeal your denial so you can receive the benefits you deserve.
We have represented many individuals with POTS, Autonomic dysfunction and Dysautonomia and have been successful in overturning their long term disability insurance denials.
Our firm has become the top choice among the POTS community because we understand the medical side of this debilitating syndrome. We have been successfully appealing POTS Long Term Disability Insurance denials for years.
If your long-term disability insurance claim has been denied, feel free to Call (877) 428-9806 for a free consultation. We will be happy to answer your questions or concerns. We are here to help.