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  • Writer's picturejimmy ting

Disability Insurance and COVID-19

In 2019, none of us worried about social distancing or flattening the curve of a global pandemic. Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus dramatically changed our lives in a matter of months. Many of us are still coming to terms with our new reality.

What We Know About the Novel Coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO) designated it a global pandemic in March 2020, and our government has increasingly restricted daily activities to fight its spread.

Common symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, include:

  • Fever

  • Dry cough

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

Less common symptoms include muscle aches, sore throat, nasal congestion, and diarrhea. In mild cases, you may struggle with symptoms for several weeks. Sometimes, your symptoms will initially seem mild but then worsen as the disease progresses.

Due to concerns that COVID-19 could overwhelm our healthcare system, our state and federal governments have restricted our daily activities. Many businesses have asked their employees to work from home or have closed their operations altogether until the disease is better controlled.

Can I Get Short-Term Disability for COVID-19?

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and cannot work as a result, you may be eligible for short-term disability benefits. However, you must have a 1) diagnosis and 2) symptoms restricting your ability to perform your job. Social distancing alone will not make you eligible for disability insurance benefits.

What if I Can’t Get Tested for Coronavirus?

Currently, testing for COVID-19 is limited. However, you may still be eligible for short-term disability benefits without a clear-cut coronavirus diagnosis. To receive these benefits, you will need documentation from your physician; calling a hotline may not be enough.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that are consistent with the coronavirus, call your doctor or schedule a telehealth appointment. Your doctor will guide you through the diagnostic process. If your doctor places you under medical quarantine due to symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19, but you cannot get tested, their medical records will provide essential evidence in your disability insurance claim.

Can I Get Long-Term Disability for COVID-19?

Thankfully, most people eventually recover from the coronavirus and return to their normal lives. However, we’re still not sure how the coronavirus may impact long-term health.

If you are unable to work for an extended period of time, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits. This could be due to an extended hospitalization, complications from the virus, or other long-term effects.

Will My Long-Term Disability Coverage Continue if COVID-19 Prevents Me From Working the Minimum Hours Required?

Most employers and insurers will continue coverage until the end of the month. However, if the reduced schedule extends into the next month, coverage will continue until the end of that month, provided premiums continue to be paid.

For more information about Disability Insurance call JCT Insurance Agency at (626)354-2000 or email

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