Why Is It Vital To Keep Your Doctor In The Loop With Respect To Your Long-Term Disability ERISA Claim?
My name is Brandon Osterbind. I am an injury and disability attorney in Central Virginia and I help people whose long-term disability claims have been denied. And today, I want to tackle the question, “Why is it important to keep your doctor in the loop with respect to your disability claim?”
Why you must keep your doctor in the loop
The answer is quite simple. Your doctor has to be your ally and your champion. I have told many people, “If you do not have your doctor’s support in your insurance disability claim or your ERISA disability claim, then you will not win your claim or your appeal.”
You need your doctor’s support
You must have your doctor’s support when you file your claim. That’s because your doctor needs to write a narrative statement detailing the treatment that you’ve been through and the treatment that you’re going to go through. And it also needs to detail how that treatment and the symptoms of your condition have limited or foreclosed your ability to work.
And if your doctor is not willing to do that, then it will be much more difficult to win an appeal where you’re claiming that the insurance company should pay you money for your inability to work. Your doctor has to be willing to say and go on record saying that you are unable to perform the main duties of your occupation.
If you’ve already been through that, your doctor has to be willing to say that you are unable to perform the main duties of any occupation. And if you get to that point, you will be on long-term disability benefits and you’ll be getting those benefits monthly until you reach retirement age.
Why you will continue to need your doctor’s support
But if you’re going to do that, the insurance company will want to know that you continue to be disabled as you go along. Even after you win your claim, the insurance company will still ask for proof of your claim.
You could be two or three years out from being approved and the insurance company can still send you a letter that says, “We want proof of your claim.” What they want now is for you to provide medical records showing that you are still disabled.
Because people get better. Conditions change. Treatments change. Science gets better. And sometimes, if you were disabled in 1990, maybe you’re no longer disabled in 2020. Those are two very important things to think about.
You’ll need continued medical documentation
And if you don’t keep up with your doctor, if you aren’t going back to your doctor for regular visits every six months to every year, then you won’t have any additional medical documentation to submit when the insurance company asks you for your proof of claim. It’s important to keep your doctor in the loop.
It’s also important for your doctor to continue recording information in your medical chart that you are still experiencing this condition, and that you are still having symptoms A, B, C, D, E, F and G. He has to make sure that this is in your medical records because that is your proof of claim.
If you have questions
I hope this post has made sense and shed some light on the process of filing your long-term disability claim and keeping you on claim through your long-term disability policy. If you have any questions about what we talked about today, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to sit down with you and chat about your case, your claim and your condition, and how we can keep you on claim.