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Long-Covid patients are often at risk of financial collapse

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Status: 07/25/2022 08:20

The Robert Koch Institute estimates that ten percent of all people infected with corona suffer from Long Covid. The people concerned, who can no longer work, feel neglected by the social system.

Cornelia Eichhorn can focus for 45 minutes. “After that, physical symptoms set in,” she says. Pain and dizziness plague her every day. Her lungs are still not getting enough oxygen, which is causing her heart problems. In November 2020, Cornelia Eichhorn was infected with Corona – from her mother after being infected in hospital. Since then, Eichhorn’s employment has been suspended, she is ill.

Cornelia Eichhorn is 42 years old and suffers from post-Covid syndrome. In his work as a medical research documentary filmmaker, every number is important. It compares drugs for studies, for example. “I really like my job,” she says. “I would love to work as a documentary filmmaker again in the future, but right now my health and my health are actually more important to me.”

“In the no man’s land of our social system”

His sick pay expired on May 9. Since then, she has been in so-called “control”, she explains. “I’m actually kind of in a no man’s land in our social system right now, because nobody’s really responsible for me right now.” She applied for a disability pension. A temporary pension of two, three or five years would certainly help. But treatment can take up to a year. She can get unemployment benefits for that long, “but that claim still hasn’t been approved.” For the moment, Cornelia Eichhorn is living on her savings.

Social insurance covers employees who are excluded from active life – for example in the event of an accident at work or cancer. They fight against the consequences of corona infection. In addition to the disability pension that Eichhorn is hoping for, those affected can apply for other help: healthcare workers can have Covid-19 recognized as an occupational disease. And anyone infected at work can report this as an accident at work.

Bureaucratic and complicated recognition

But recognition is not just bureaucratic and complicated – especially for someone with post-Covid symptoms. The social association VdK finds that progress is much too slow. “Currently, pension and accident insurance is often very rigid and the recognition of long-term illnesses does not yet work as comprehensively as it would be good for our members and many other people in Germany,” says VdK President Verena Bentele.

According to the VdK, the rate of recognition of occupational diseases is quite high at 80%. But only 25% of applications would be recognized permanently. In the case of accidents at work, where you have to legally prove that you have been infected at work, it is only 30%. “For us, as a VdK social association, it is important that people are well assessed and examined and that they also get their support and help,” says Bentele. “And you don’t have to constantly worry about running out of support, because of course that’s never helpful for the healing process.”

Claims for occupational diseases have multiplied

The number of such requests is alarming. In 2019, before the corona pandemic, no less than 80,000 suspicious occupational disease reports were received by the statutory accident insurance. In 2021, there were more than 220,000 – the majority of them, with no less than 150,000 applications, linked to Covid-19.

The German statutory accident insurance provides a decision on this subject at the request of tagesschau.de Not. The Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund declares in writing:

Disability pension claims are only made if there has been no improvement in physical limitations over a long period and a reliable medical prognosis of future performance can be established. In addition, according to the guiding principle “rehabilitation before retirement”, an attempt is made to avoid a reduction in earning capacity through suitable rehabilitation services.”

Hoping for disability pension

Cornelia Eichhorn has been to rehab twice. However, she cannot work. Like many others affected, she is currently hoping for a disability pension. “If it doesn’t, we would sink lower and worst case scenario it would mean Hartz IV. And of course that’s a prospect you really don’t want.”

Eichhorn is pleased with the small steps she is taking on her road to recovery. She can no longer plan far into the future. “There is a certain insecurity,” she says. “I just hope that the social system, which is well known in Germany, will catch up with us now.”

Source www.tagesschau.de

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