Applying For Disability Benefits — Avoid These Three Mistakes
Are you applying for long-term disability? Avoid the following three mistakes.
My name is Brandon Osterbind. I am an injury and disability attorney here in Central Virginia and I help people whose long-term disability claims have been denied. Today, I want to talk to you about the top three mistakes that you may or may not have already made in filing your claim for long-term disability. I’ll also tell you how to fix some of those mistakes.
Mistake 1: Not getting the full set of medical records
The first thing that we often see is that when people ask for their medical records, they don’t get a full set of their medical records. They only get bits and pieces that the doctors give them. It’s important to make sure that you ask your doctor for every single piece of paper.
Of course, you don’t have to give every single piece of paper to the insurance company. There may be fax transmission sheets or letters just asking for updates or things like that that don’t have any relevance whatsoever to your claim.
Why you must request the full set of records
But there are a lot of pieces of paper in your medical file that you would not even expect to see. It’s important to make sure when you request your medical records that you request a full copy of your medical records, preferably in electronic format.
Because then the healthcare provider has to go into their system and do an export. This is more official than the doctor simply printing out a status sheet or a visit report at the end of your doctor visit. Because that visit report is not going to have everything that the insurance company needs to make a decision about your claim.
Mistake 2: Only use the insurance company’s small form
The second thing that I often see when people file their own claim is that they use the forms that the insurance company gives them, a form about what you can and cannot do. The insurance company has this small form that barely covers half of anything.
It’s important to go beyond that and to think outside the box when it comes to filing these claims. Because if you don’t file all the information, if you don’t give them enough information to decide your claim, then your claim is going to be denied.
Even though the insurance company has a fiduciary duty to decide your appeal with your best interest in mind, they are still going to be looking for reasons to deny your claim. You have to make sure that you don’t use their forms. Actually, it’s okay if you use their forms but you have to supplement them with additional information well beyond that.
Mistake 3: Certain tests are not done
The third mistake that I often see is that certain tests are not done by your doctors because the doctors know what your diagnosis is, they know what the treatment is and they don’t need certain objective tests to diagnose you with those things.
But a lot of times, the insurance companies do need an objective test in order to make that diagnosis stick. Even though you may have been diagnosed with a certain condition, it’s important to make sure that any objective test that is out there is in fact done to verify that you weren’t lying about your condition to begin with.
The insurance company is always going to be looking to make sure that they’re not getting robbed by a claimant who is misleading their doctors or misleading the insurance company. Make sure that you don’t make these three mistakes.
What you should do
And if you have made one of these three mistakes, come talk to me. I’d be happy to look at your case and your denial letter to see exactly what the insurance company said. And then I will give you a strategy for handling the problems that the insurance company listed in the denial letter.
I hope this has been helpful. You can reach us by phone or by email. All of our information is on our website, www.osterbindlaw.com or in our Facebook group. Check us out. We’ll be happy to help you in any way we can.