Over 60% of first wave Long Covid patients declared medically unfit to work
Most Long Covid patients from the first wave of coronavirus infections who are still struggling with symptoms are unable to work a normal day. Benefits agency UWV declared 62 percent completely unfit to work and another 23 percent receive benefits due to partial incapacity to work, AD reports.
Employees who have been ill for two years and therefore have to work less or not at all undergo an examination to determine if they qualify for an occupational disability benefit. The UWV assessed 736 Long Covid, now also called post-Covid syndrome, patients up to and including May this year. About 3 percent of the total occupational disability benefits this year are due to Long Covid. According to UWV, that shows "long-term coronavirus complaints often have a major, far-reaching impact on the lives of clients."
In 54 percent of the Long Covid assessments, the UWV concluded that the person can't work for the time being and that they are entitled to a full benefit. These workers may recover in the future and be able to return to work. But at the moment, there is little scientific knowledge about Long Covid. "That means that it is often too early to say that the disability is permanent," Herman Kroneman, a medical advisor at UWV, said to AD. "Many clients don't want that either, they want to get back to work. We would like to see them at a later stage for a reassessment."
For eight percent, the conclusion was that they are "completely and permanently" unfit to work. And the UWV declared 23 percent partially unfit for work.
People with Long Covid have a huge variety of symptoms. Fatigue, concentration problems, and headaches are most common. The UWV expects a significant influx of Long Covid patients in the coming months.