One of the most difficult things claimants experience is asking their doctors to fill out forms and give physician statements as to how the patient’s medical condition makes it impossible for him or her to perform their job duties. This is the most important part of avoiding a disability insurance claim denial whether the claim is for short term disability (STD) or for long term disability (LTD).
How to Ask Your Doctor to Assist with Your Disability Benefit Claim
Your physician’s goal is to make you feel better and get back to functioning in your everyday life, which the doctor often assumes will get you back to work. The notes doctors write on the chart are notorious for being cursory and for not providing the detail needed to support your disability insurance benefit claim.
The insurance company will ask the health care provider to fill out a form, or to submit an Attending Physician Statement. Even then, we find doctors need some guidance concerning what the insurance company is asking for.
Explaining the Importance of the Medical Documentation
The key to having your claim approved, no matter what stage you are at in your claims process, whether it is your initial claim or in the appeals process, is for your doctors to understand what your job duties are. This includes all doctors involved in your medical care: your primary care physician, internal medicine doctor, neurologist, orthopedist, etc.
Doctors need to know the struggles you face every day. They need to understand how the symptoms you are experiencing limit you in doing your job. To do this, they need to understand what is expected of you every day at work and how your medical issues prevent you from performing those tasks. They need to know how your limitations impact the degree of physical, mental, or intellectual functionality has on your ability to perform the required tasks of your occupation.
It is best not to just leave the forms with your doctors, but to explain to them on a medical visit as to the purpose of the forms and what is being asked for and why. If the doctors understand the purpose of the forms and understand why your condition prevents you from performing your job duties, they are more likely to complete the forms and cooperate.
Let your doctors know how important this is and how much you need their help. Tell them, “If I get denied, I don’t know what I am going to do. I won’t be able to support my family. I hired a consultant, and here is what they are suggesting we do.” That way, you can provide more information to your doctors about what the insurance company is expecting from them.
Providing Your Doctors a Guide
It often helps to tell your physicians that you have hired a professional who only deals with disability insurance companies and disability claims and the disability insurance attorney has provided a guide on what the company wants from the physicians.
Most doctors appreciate having a guide. They are generally clueless about what the disability insurance company wants. We find most doctors are cooperative. You just need to lead them a bit so they understand what the form is for, why they are completing it, and what information needs to be expressed.
One of the services we offer is assisting claimants in helping their doctors complete the forms, not just the Attending Physician Statement, but the ongoing claim forms that will be required. We educate our claimants on how to educate their doctors about the importance of properly documenting in your medical records your medical condition and how it interferes with your job performance. That way, when the records are submitted to the disability company, your case will be strong. This is important because to the company, your case is only as strong as it looks on paper.
Some doctors may know you so well, they do not have to rely on your chart. They only make quick notes. We look at the records and find they do not match up with what the claimant is telling us. That is a common basis for denial of a claim and is a strong example of why you need our help.
How a Disability Lawyer Can Help
At our disability insurance law firm of Dell & Schaefer, we provide you a free consultation to discuss your claim. We start with asking you to send us a copy of your policy. If you have experienced a denied disability claim, we ask you to send a copy of your denial letter. After we review these documents, we let you know how we can help you and what our fees are. Generally, you pay us nothing unless we collect benefits for you.
Our attorneys help people all over the country. A disability insurance lawyer is often able to respond to you on the same day you call. No office visit is necessary.
Another thing you may find helpful is to subscribe to our YouTube channel where you can view regular video updates from us where we discuss disability insurance-related issues. We explain what you can do to improve your chances of having your claim approved the first time it is submitted.
We also provide assistance to those who have had their claim denied and need to appeal. We understand the need you have for your disability benefits and look forward to helping you. We look forward to having the opportunity to speak with you.