If you are unable to perform the duties of your job due to a chronic illness or medical condition, you may be entitled to monthly benefits when covered by long-term disability insurance. The process of filing a long-term disability claim can be daunting. However, keeping yourself educated can help you stay on top of your long-term disability claim as well as understand the process better.
Although knowledge is power, so is good record keeping. Documentation of your medical condition is a crucial component of a long-term disability claim. Here’s why.
Your medical records can make or break your long-term disability claim, so providing adequate proof is critical. A simple note from your doctor stating that you are disabled is not enough to support a claim. There are two types of medical evidence — objective (test results, x-rays, blood tests, etc.) and subjective (patient’s complaints such as pain or fatigue). Insurance companies deem subjective complaints as more credible when supported by objective evidence.
In support of medical records, statements about your condition from your doctor are also a vital piece in your case. Having cooperation from your doctor is extremely important to the success of your long-term disability claim. You want to make sure that the doctor you choose has experience with filing paperwork, meeting critical deadlines and dealing with insurance companies in long-term disability claims.
Independent Medical Exam (IME)
IMEs are performed by doctors that are frequently used by insurance companies to conduct medical examinations in long-term disability cases. The results of these exams tend to be in favor of insurance companies. When dealing with anIME doctor, be aware that they are well-versed in long-term disability claims and probably have hundreds of claims under their belt. Even though it may feel like you are at the mercy of an IME, there are some things you can do to ensure you are getting the best possible outcome.
- Enlist a friend - Bring a friend or family member with you to the IME. Ask them to take detailed notes about the exam. For example, how long the exam lasted, what questions the doctor asked and what tests were performed.
- Ask for a copy of the IME report - Review the copy of the IME report for any discrepancies. Should there be questionable information on the report, it’s best to consult an attorney who specializes in long-term disability.
Filing a long-term disability claim on your own can be a daunting task. We can help you navigate through the process. Our disability insurance attorneys can assist you with the evidence you need to support your claim or appeal. You don’t have to face the insurance companies alone. We’ll be there every step of the way. Contact Dabdoub Law Firm at (800) 969-0488 today to learn more.