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Guidance for Schools and Parents: Students with Long Covid may Need Evaluation and Special Education

In July of 2021, the U.S. Department of Education issued new guidance for schools: “Long COVID under Section 504 and the IDEA: A Resource to Support Children, Students, Educators, Schools, Service Providers, and Families.”

The Guidance makes it very clear that students with “long COVID,” may be “disabled” under the law and potentially entitled to support in school if they need accommodations or special education. The first step for schools is to identify the students impacted, and conduct proper evaluations under the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504.

The Guidance explains, verbatim:

“A child or student experiencing long COVID or other conditions that have arisen as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for special education and related services under IDEA and/or may be entitled to protections and services under Section 504.”

“Some children and students who were already identified as having a disability under IDEA and/or Section 504 and who have contracted COVID-19 may experience new or worsened symptoms related to their pre- existing disability, to COVID-19, or to both. If these symptoms persist in the form of long COVID, these children or students may need new or different related aids and services, specialized instruction, or reasonable modifications.”

“Other children or students may be found eligible for services under IDEA and/or Section 504 for the first time because of the adverse impact of long COVID on the child’s educational achievement and functioning (IDEA) or if long COVID substantially limits one or more of the student’s major life activities (Section 504).”

If you have questions about long-COVID or other IDEA or Section 504 matters, our special education team is here to help! Contact us at 856-242-8151, or submit the online inquiry form available at

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This material is for educational purposes only; it does not provide legal advice. Please be advised that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and Advo-Kids or this author. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.