The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, and some who were afflicted with the virus, are still experiencing lingering symptoms. Though the cough and fever may be long gone, other symptoms that can last for months or more are being attributed to COVID-19 in a condition referred to as long COVID. Is long COVID recognized by the VA? Veterans Law Attorneys is here to help you find an answer.

Doctor with hand on soldier's shoulder

Can You Apply For VA Benefits if You Are Suffering From Long COVID?

We all know that, at times, the government can be slow to recognize the conditions that can plague our military personnel during and after service. For example, only recently have toxic burn pits been recognized as a potential cause for service-connected medical conditions.

However, where COVID is concerned, the government acted fast and put legislation into effect in January 2021 that was not only retroactive but also forward-looking when it came to both COVID and symptoms of long COVID. We’ll cover both the symptoms and who qualifies.

What Are the Symptoms of Long COVID

Even 3 years after the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, only so much is known about the long-term effects of the virus and how they can express themselves in those who were infected. Currently, the CDC attributes the following symptoms to long COVID. However, as the medical community continues to perform research, this list may evolve and change.

CDC Recognized Symptoms of Long COVID

COVID virus particles
  • Abdominal pain
  • Altered or lost senses of taste and/or smell
  • Chest pain
  • Chronic cough
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or balance issues
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Racing heart
  • Shortness of breath

Of course, you should be able to fall back on healthcare at the VA for treatment of any of these symptoms, but for some moderate and severe cases, you may be able to qualify for VA disability benefits.

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Who Qualifies for VA Benefits for COVID?

In order to qualify for potential VA benefits you have to have contracted COVID-19 during any one of the following time periods:

  • During active duty for at least 48 hours or up to 14 days after between March 1st, 2020, and January 5th, 2024.
  • During active duty training or up to 14 days after between March 13th, 2020, and January 5th, 2024
  • During full-time national guard orders or up to 14 days after between March 13th, 2020, and January 5th, 2024

As you can see, as of this writing, the time periods are still in effect. This means if you are active in the military currently and get COVID-19, you should pay special attention to any potential long COVID symptoms you may experience and ensure that they are medically documented.

It should be noted that, even if you believe that you contracted COVID outside of your service, but one of the statements above still remains true, then your long COVID symptoms will still be considered service-connected.

Read More: Tips to Speed Up Your VA Disability Appeal

Get VA Benefits For Long COVID

If you have debilitating symptoms of long COVID that can be attributed to your service through the above guidelines, then you should apply for VA benefits. If you need legal help applying or believe that you have been wrongfully denied, then reach out to Veterans Law Attorneys today. We are a Cincinnati-based law firm but we can help veterans nationwide.

Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.