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Tips for Family Medicine & Internal Medicine Doctors to Receive Disability Insurance Benefits

Internal medicine and family practice doctors work long hours in their office. They see patients with all types of problems. Many they treat. Other patients may be referred to another physician. The practice is as much physically taxing as it is intellectually demanding. This creates stress.

When the doctor finally decides a medical condition has gotten so severe, he or she can no longer work as a treating physician and submits a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits, the doctor is met with a surprise. The insurance company classifies his job as “sedentary” and denies the claim on the grounds that the doctor has not proven the inability to perform the job duties of a sedentary job.

At Dell Disability Lawyers, we offer some tips for internal medicine and family practice doctors (doctors) who are contemplating filing a disability claim or struggling to have a claim approved.

The Insurance Company Needs a Detailed Description of the Job Duties

A diagnosis of a debilitating disease does mean the doctor can still work. Doctors need to provide the insurance company details about the duties of their own practice.

Doctors have the burden of proving to the insurance company more than just that they have a medical condition. Diagnosis does not equal disability. Without a detailed description of the doctor’s specific job duties, the disability insurance company will deem the job sedentary and deny the claim.

For example, the doctor may work in the office from 9 to 5 every day and see an average number of patients on that day. What are the medical problems presented? What type of procedures do the patients need? This is a job that cannot be classified based on the doctor’s physical stamina, but on the intellectual stress that comes with treating conditions. At the end of the day in the office, the doctor may then head over to the hospital to see and treat hospitalized patients.

Is it a concierge practice where the doctor is “on” almost all the time? In this practice, a doctor may have hundreds of patients who the doctor is expected to remember whenever they call. This ability is likely compromised when a doctor is suffering from a chronic medical condition.

Strong Medical Documentation is Required in Order for a Disability Benefit Claim to be Approved

This is an area where many doctors of all specialties have a problem. They do not want their illness or chronic medical condition documented. They spent years in medical school, internship, and residency and do not want to give up their medical practice.

The burden is on doctors to show how their medical condition prevents them from performing their job duties. Their attempt to work through their chronic medical conditions will be used against them and their claim will be denied.

How Can A Disability Insurance Company Tell Doctors That They are not Disabled?

Unfortunately, a disability insurance company can deny a doctor’s claim, usually based on the lack of documented medical evidence, or an explanation of how the medical condition prevents the doctor from performing the duties of their specific specialty. If this happened to you, contact one of our disability attorneys at Dell Disability Lawyers for a free consultation. We will review the denial letter and let you know if we can help you.

We help people nationwide. If you are considering filing a disability claim, or are struggling to have your claim approved, you should also contact us for a FREE consultation.

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