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COVID-19 Leading to Surge in Disability Claims

March 10, 2023 from CBC News


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, many are left wondering about the long-term effects of the virus. For workers in New Brunswick, the long-term effects of COVID-19 are not only a health concern but also a financial one.


According to data from WorkSafeNB, the agency that handles workers’ compensation claims in New Brunswick, the number of claims related to COVID-19 has increased significantly. Between March 2020 and October 2021, there were a total of 1,133 COVID-19-related claims, with the majority of claims (955) being related to lost time.


These claims can have significant financial consequences for both workers and employers. As of November 2021, the total cost of COVID-19-related claims in New Brunswick was $4.4 million, with the average cost per claim being $3,871.


But the financial impact of COVID-19-related claims is not just limited to New Brunswick. In Canada as a whole, the cost of workplace injuries and illnesses was estimated to be $19.8 billion in 2018, with each lost-time injury costing an average of $114,299.


One potential long-term effect of COVID-19 that is of particular concern is Long COVID, a condition in which individuals experience symptoms for an extended period of time after their initial COVID-19 infection. According to the World Health Organization, Long COVID can affect individuals of all ages, including those with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 infections.


A recent study published in The Lancet found that 76% of individuals who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 reported at least one ongoing symptom six months after their initial infection. Symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, joint pain, and difficulty concentrating.


The long-term effects of COVID-19 and Long COVID can have significant impacts on the ability of workers to perform their job duties, as well as their overall quality of life. The long-term effects of COVID-19 and Long COVID continue to be a concern for workers and employers alike.


With the increasing number of COVID-19-related claims and the significant financial impact of workplace injuries and illnesses, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to ensure that workers receive the care they need and that employers provide a safe and healthy workplace. IMEs can play a crucial role in achieving these goals and providing clarity and peace of mind for all parties involved.



Considering an IME or document review to resolve an insurance claim, legal file, or workplace health and safety issue? We have particular experience with disability potentially related to Covid-19.


Our specialists provide evidence-based opinions, so get in touch with Western Medical today to learn more about our services.