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Biden: COVID Long-Haulers Qualify for ADA Protections

'Many Americans who seemingly recover from the virus still face lingering challenges'
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2021 3:28 PM CDT
New Guidelines Give Disability Protections to COVID Long-Haulers
President Biden speaks about the COVID-19 vaccination program during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus July 6.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – People with long-haul COVID could now be eligible for disability resources, President Biden said Monday. Some people recover from the acute symptoms of the disease, but struggle for months with fatigue, difficulty breathing, brain fog, loss of sense of smell, and other symptoms. A diagnosis of COVID doesn’t automatically qualify someone for disability benefits. But Biden’s administration has released guidelines to allow someone with long-term symptoms that “substantially limits a major life activity” to get help, the Washington Post reports. "Many Americans who seemingly recover from the virus still face lingering challenges," Biden said, per Axios.

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"These conditions can sometimes rise to the level of a disability," the president said. Adding long COVID to the list of conditions covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act means people living with its challenges would be protected from discrimination, and accommodated when they ask for reasonable modifications. While announcing the new guidelines, Biden also gave a little history lesson on the bipartisan effort that led to the ADA, praising former Republican Sen. Bob Dole and former president George HW Bush, who signed the law, CNN reports. “We’ve made important progress, but we still have work to do,” Biden said. (Read more long-haul COVID stories.)

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