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Complications From the Flu Could Cause Long-Term Disabilities


Throughout the month of January, there continued to be record numbers of people diagnosed with ‘the flu’ and case numbers are expected to climb throughout February and into March. Aside from making you feel miserable and causing you to take multiple days off work, a bad case of influenza could also have far-ranging impacts on your future health. Older adults and those with certain types of medical conditions could end up suffering long-term disabilities as a result.

Are You at Risk for Flu Complications? 

Despite getting vaccinations and taking an abundance of other precautions, millions of people fall victim to influenza viruses each year. According to a January 2020 preliminary report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 21,000,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with the flu this year. Of these, more than 10 percent are likely to require hospitalization due to the severity of their symptoms. One percent of these cases are likely to prove fatal while others are at risk for potentially permanent disabilities.

Those with a strong immune system may be able to fight off the flu fairly easily and in as little as a week or two. Others who are not so fortunate are at high risk for serious flu complications. These include older adults aged 65 and over as well as people with the following pre-existing health conditions:

  • Asthma;
  • Blood disorders,
  • Chronic lung diseases;
  • Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes;
  • Heart disease;
  • Kidney disease;
  • Liver disease;
  • Metabolic disorders;
  • Overweight and obese individuals;
  • Those with weakened immune systems due to conditions such as cancer or HIV and those undergoing radiation or other treatments.

If you suffer flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, body aches, coughing, weakness, and fever, it is important to notify your doctor right away. There are antiviral medications that can be prescribed, provided the flu is caught in the early stages. Getting plenty of rest and fluids is important as well.

The Flu and Long Term Disability Benefits

Having a bad case of the flu is unlikely to entitle you to benefits from your employer, other than paid days off or short term disability payments if your illness results in a lengthy absence. However, if you suffer flu complications that have a permanent impact on your health, you may be entitled to long-term disability benefits.

In order to qualify as a long-term disability, your condition must be expected to last for at least a year or longer and be likely to result in your eventual death. In these types of cases, it is important to review the terms of your policy. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), your employer is required to provide copies of all policy-related documents for free and at your request.

Let Us Help You Today

For answers to your questions and concerns regarding your rights to disability benefits, reach out to Farrell Disability Law. Call or contact our Jacksonville long-term disability attorney online and request a consultation in our office today.


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