When Does the ADA Qualify COVID-19 a Disability?

COVID 19 and disability law as outlined by the ADA helps define who is disabled by COVID 19 and who is not. The keyword here is “Helps.” However, because COVID 19 affects people differently – some never recover, and others may not even know they have the disease – the ADA outlines are unclear.

Some fundamental aspects are outlined, beginning with the fact that every disability is about an individual, not a group. Here is more about how disability under COVID 19 occurs.

1. “Long COVID.”

“Long COVID” is one of the many terms referring to – new, ongoing, or returning health problems following a COVID 19 infection that last for four-plus weeks. That definition and time are important as they define when a potential disability related to COVID 19 occurs.

2. The ADA uses a three-part definition to determine if an individual meets the guidelines for a COVID disability. Those are:

  • There is a physical disability.
  • There is a record of a disability – The EEOC uses past cancer diagnosis in remission.
  • Regarded as – the individual is regarded as being disabled.

3. When an Actual Disability occurs

The EEOC states that when a particular medical condition or its symptoms presents a physical or mental impairment that sustainably limits a significant life activity. [1] Further, the EEOC clarifies that that definition applies to a case-by-case situation and is never a blanket statement. Having COVID 19 is not by itself an actual disability. Examples of a substantially limiting of a significant life activity include:

  • Ongoing intermittent headaches that occur multiple times per day
  • Continued dizziness
  • Cognitive issues, such as “brain fog” that persists or causes the individual to be forgetful
  • Breathing difficulties that may require oxygen
  • Cardiac issues resulting from the COVID infection or treatment include chest pain, palpitations, or shortness of breath.

4.An individual Regarded as being disabled

A person with COVID or who their employer believes has COVID 19 can be classified as disabled if that perception – right or wrong – causes them to lose their job and be unhirable due to an impairment.

How the ADA Addresses COVID 19 and Disability

The first thing to understand is that every case is unique and that similar cases may qualify as a disability while others do not.

Every case starts with an evaluation and gathering of data or documents.

The process is not straightforward and can be excessively complex. There are gray areas in almost every case.

If you believe you are disabled due to a COVID 19 infection and reside in California, call Davtyan Law Firm  at (818) 275-5799 at discuss the details of your condition. We are here to help you determine the best course of action for your unique situation.


Ready To Get Started?

Contact Us Today For A FREE Consultation To Find Out How We Can Help You. We Serve Employees All Across the State of California.

Call Us Today!

(818) 275-5799


Based in California, we focus exclusively on employment law, protecting employees' rights. We handle a broad range of employment disputes including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour issues, among others.

Contact Us


400 N. Brand Blvd,
Suite 700
Glendale, CA 91203

(818) 275-5799

880 East Broadway
Glendale, CA 91205

(818) 275-5799

1635 Pontius Ave,
2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90025

(818) 275-5799

402 West Broadway
Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92101

(858) 956-7899

580 California St
Suite 1200
San Francisco, CA 94104

(650) 963-7187

1444 Fulton Street
Fresno, CA 93721

(559) 530-8046

500 Capitol Mall
Suite 2350
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 713-7268

527 Flume Street
Unit 3
Chico, CA 95928

(530) 539-1404

12242 Business Park Drive, Suite 19
Truckee, CA 96161

(530) 721-1872

4900 California Avenue
Tower B, 2nd Floor
Bakersfield, CA 93309

(661) 215-8671

473 E. Carnegie Drive
Suite 200
San Bernardino, CA 92408

(990) 787-2570

288 Pearl Street
Until 311
Monterey, CA 93940

(831) 480-9838

110 N San Joaquin St.
2nd Floor
Stockton, CA 95202

(203) 888-0271

99 South Almaden Blvd.
Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95113

(408) 872-9877

111 West Ocean Blvd.
4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802

(562) 582-8559

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 726-1278

1100 Town & Country Road
Suite 1250
Orange, CA 92868

(657) 256-4327

Call Now ButtonCall Now