Do I have to sign the insurance company’s authorization form for my disability claim?
Once you file a disability claim with your insurance company, most companies will require you to fill out an authorization form. Generally, this form gives your insurance company the right to request otherwise protected information, such as medical records, financial records, and employment records.
It is natural to be somewhat wary of doing so. After all, many of these authorizations can be very broad and feel intrusive.
It is usually in your best interest, however, to sign and submit the form. Here are three reasons why:
1. It allows the disability insurance company to get medical records and other information they really need to review your right to disability benefits;
2. Your insurance company cannot argue that you failed to cooperate by not allowing them to obtain information needed to process your disability claims; and
3. Your disability insurance policy may actually require that you sign the authorization.
This question of the authorization form highlights a couple of important issues about disability cases:
- Your duty to prove your disability; and
- Your insurance company’s duty to investigate your claim.
Your Duty to Prove Your Disability
Merely signing the authorization form is not enough. You have a duty to prove your disability under the terms of the insurance policy.
This means that even if you sign the authorization form permitting your insurance company to request medical records from your providers, it is still your responsibility to ensure the insurance company is given the records needed to process your claim.
The only way to prevent this issue is to get your medical records yourself. This way you guarantee your insurance company has what it needs to review your claim.
Your Insurance Company’s Duty to Investigate Your Claim
Now, this does not mean you can just ignore that authorization form knowing you will get the records on your own. Your insurance company has a duty to investigate your claim. You are expected to cooperate with that investigation.
The authorization form allows your insurance company to request what it determines it needs to complete its investigation. If you refuse to complete the form, you run the risk of the insurance company accusing you of being uncooperative. Usually, the benefit of refusing to sign the authorization form is not worth the risk of violating the policy.
Many authorizations are over broad in that they allow the disability insurance company to request financial information, pull a credit report, or request mental health records. Our law firm has edited overly broad authorizations to meet our clients’ needs without running into problems with the insurance company or the law.
Our Disability Attorneys Can Help You
Dabdoub Law Firm was built to be a disability insurance law firm. The firm has significant experience handling claims for disability insurance benefits with every major disability insurance company.
The firm can help at any stage of your long-term disability claim, including:
- Submitting a disability insurance claim;
- Appealing a long-term disability denial;
- Negotiating a lump-sum settlement; or
- Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company.
Hiring an experienced disability attorney is important. Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, our lawyers do not have to be located in your state.
Call for a free consultation with an experienced disability attorney.