OHS Canada Magazine

Long COVID affected about 6% of workers with COVID-19 claims: WCRI

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August 17, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety COVID-19 Long COVID WCRI

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A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found that 6% of workers with COVID-19 developed long COVID, and many of these workers continued receiving medical care a year after their infections.

This study expands prior evidence from early in the pandemic, showing persistent rates of long COVID for infections through 2021, WCRI said in a press release.

“Our main takeaways for workers’ compensation policymakers and stakeholders are that long COVID continued to affect a meaningful share of workers with COVID-19 infections, and that was an important driver of claim costs,” said Ramona Tanabe, president and CEO of WCRI. “Among all workers with COVID-19 claims, 6% received treatment for long COVID conditions, some more than a year after the initial infection. At an average of 18 months of post-infection experience, these workers received more than 20 weeks of temporary disability benefits.”

The analysis includes COVID-19 cases reported with a date of infection between March 2020 and September 2021. A copy of the report, authored by Dr. Bogdan Savych, is available at https://www.wcrinet.org/reports/long-covid-in-the-workers-compensation-system-in-2020-and-2021.

WCRI is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, Mass. Organized in late 1983, the Institute does not take positions on the issues it researches; rather, it provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts, which conform to recognized scientific methods.


Objectivity is further ensured through rigorous, unbiased peer review procedures. WCRI’s diverse membership includes employers; insurers; governmental entities; managed care companies; health care providers; insurance regulators; state labor organizations; and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.


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