Long-hauler says lingering COVID symptoms have left him jobless, disabled and nearly homeless

Advocates say there's little to no help to ease the financial burden of this debilitating condition.

News 12 Staff

Jan 14, 2022, 11:08 PM

Updated 913 days ago

Share:

Long-haul COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the lives of about 9 million Americans.
Advocates say there's little to no help to ease the financial burden of this debilitating condition.
Mike Heidenberg was once a college academic advisor, but catching COVID in the early days of the pandemic changed everything.
"I was known for my memory. Then all of the sudden I couldn't remember even my students' names anymore," he says.
While the traditional symptoms of COVID subsided, new mysterious conditions popped up.
"A whole cascade of symptoms started - heat intolerance, exercise intolerance, changing positions was hard, standing my pulse and blood pressure would go crazy," he says.
The White Plains man is one of the estimated 9 million Americans with long-haul COVID, and the lingering symptoms that have persisted for 20 months have left him jobless, disabled and nearly homeless.
"When I say we are going to have to sell our apartment, I don't know where we are going to go. I don't know what we are going to be able to afford," he says.
That's because COVID unemployment benefits ended, and long COVID isn't recognized as a qualifying condition by Social Security disability, Medicaid or unemployment.
C-19 Longhauler Advocacy Project released an open letter to the president and congressional leaders this week calling for the formation of a Long COVID Assistance Program and a task force.
Heidenberg says his condition prevents him from returning to work.
"I love my job, and I want nothing more than to get back to it," he says.
He hopes there will soon be help so he can focus on his recovery and returning to a normal life.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with Heidenberg's financial struggles. So far, it has raised $21,000.


More from News 12