CLEVELAND (WJW) – Georgia Linders lives every day with the aftermath of COVID, plagued by fever and fatigue, experiencing what is known as long haul or long COVID.
“One big thing is not to feel guilty about needing the benefits, because you know I’ve been in my job for 10 years and I didn’t plan on not working,” she said.
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Diagnosed with chronic fatigue and mild neurocognitive disorder, she was disabled for short and long term before she was eventually forced to quit a job she loved.
“I didn’t know my brain was actually slow and um, just like my brain slows down sometimes and I forget what I’m saying and it’s kind of annoying.”
Last week, President Biden announced that people with severe long-term COVID cases could be eligible for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We are bringing agencies together to ensure that Americans with long-term COVID who have a disability have access to the rights and resources afforded by the Disability Act.”
Attorney Ric Selby is the managing partner of Dworken and Bernstein law firm in northeast Ohio.
“There are two basic safeguards. First, you must not be discriminated against because you have this condition. “
Second, Selby says, the employer must make reasonable arrangements for the employee to do his or her job without causing undue stress.
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“One of the things that come to mind is that a period of leave of absence may be a reasonable accommodation option. In certain circumstances, working from home or remotely can be an appropriate solution. “
Georgia is currently applying for social security disability insurance. When it comes to ADA protection, she fears the difficulties employees could face over the long term.
“I worry about people who have inflammation in their brains and who can’t keep up with their jobs.”
Still, Georgia says the Biden government’s recognition of the challenges COVID patients face on a daily basis is important.
“It was incredibly reassuring to hear him say just because we’d been screaming for so long, don’t forget us, don’t forget us.”
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