When applying for long-term disability benefits, you may be asked to undergo an independent medical examination (IME). An IME request may be cause for concern because it typically means the insurance company wants to prove that you are not as disabled as you claim to be.
If an IME is asked of you, it’s important to be prepared. Here are three things you can do to prepare for an independent medical examination:
#1 - Forge Solid Connections with Your Treating Doctors
When your claim is reviewed by adjusters and judges, they will look at all of the presented evidence—not just the IME report. Your medical records will be critical to your long-term disability claim.
Your records can help establish the seriousness of your ailment, your abilities, and the steps you’ve taken toward recovery. Having strong medical documentation can help offset a single IME report.
#2 - Expect To Be Surveilled Before & After an IME
There’s a good chance that the insurance provider has eyes on you. Insurers often hire private investigators to keep an eye on you before and after an IME. They do this in the hopes that your day-to-day activities will conflict with your behavior at the IME physician’s office.
Additionally, the IME doctor’s staff will likely have eyes on you as you enter and exit the office. If your behavior outside of the office is inconsistent with your claims, you should expect that information to be noted in the report.
#3 - Be Honest About Your Symptoms
It may be tempting to exaggerate your symptoms to show the severity of your ailment.
DO NOT DO THIS.
Inconsistencies regarding your condition can show that you are being dishonest with your claims. It’s in your best interest to be completely transparent about the pain you experience.
Similarly, be honest when answering the physician’s questions, but don’t offer any more information than they ask for. For instance, if you are asked how long you can sit, simply answer the question. Don’t add details about how you suffered through a long road trip to visit your family last weekend.
If you need help filing for disability benefits or your benefits were wrongly denied, we may be able to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office right away to discuss your concerns.
Call Dabdoub Law Firm today at (800) 969-0488 to speak with an attorney about your case.