Britons suffering from long Covid-19 are missing out on £1.5bn in earnings as a result of being too ill to work, a new study published today reveals.
Some 110,000 workers are missing from work because they are on sick leave with lingering symptoms of the virus, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
Each person afflicted with the long Covid-19 and cannot work at all is losing £1,100 per month, underscoring the ongoing impact the pandemic is having on households’ standard of living.
The IFS found the poorest are more likely to come down with a severe case of the virus, the first piece of evidence illustrating this trend.
Some 41 per cent of the entire pool of people with long Covid-19 were claiming benefits before the virus struck, compared to 28 per cent of people who are not suffering from the condition.
A quarter of the group were in poverty and living in social housing.
The scale of lost income among deprived individuals comes as the cost of living squeeze is having a greater impact on this group’s finances due to them spending a larger proportion of their income on food and energy bills.
Tom Wernham, a research economist at IFS, said: “For a significant minority of long Covid-19 sufferers, the condition has severe effects not only on their health but on their ability to do paid work.”
“The rising rate of long Covid-19 could therefore put additional strain on families during the cost of living crisis, especially as long Covid-19 is more common among poorer families, as well as drag on a struggling economy – we estimate there are 110,000 workers missing from work as a result,’ he added.
A government spokesperson told City A.M.: “The NHS has committed £224m to support people with ongoing symptoms of Covid-19.”