Give Your Doctor Advice

 

Obviously, the most important person in the cast of characters involved when you have a disabling injury or illness is your treating doctor. You don’t have to be an Einstein to know that. Your doctor’s skill, or lack of it, can make or break your personal future.

 

But, if you have disability income insurance and are thinking of making a claim, the physician’s importance doesn’t end with the completion of treatments. In fact, the doctor continues as the star of your claim efforts and one unthinking or careless word from your doctor can send your claim to oblivion.

The importance of the claimant’s ability to get the treating doctor to realize the role he or she plays in your claim cannot be overemphasized. Physicians are busy people and are sometimes not too tolerant of demands on their time other than for treating patients. Yet, their word on your condition and your ability to function in a work setting can torpedo a claim faster than a claimant can “take two aspirin and call me in the morning”.

Your doctor’s value is multiplied by the fact that the first notice of claim you send the disability insurance carrier may carry the seeds of self destruction, thereby sinking your claim before it ever leaves the dock. This warning goes for rock solid claims as well as those which may be debatable.

ASAP Is Not A Priority

Many disability claimants are lulled into a false sense of security by having had previous experience reporting an auto accident claim or a stolen piece of property. In those types of claims the first priority is to get the notice to the insurer ASAP. The details can follow later. In a disability claim you have to get the details determined and in order before filing the claim, because an incomplete and/or inaccurate notice of claim can and will be used against you throughout the claims process.

Disability insurance carriers are fully aware of inexperienced claimants being fooled into thinking that a disability claim is similar to filing an accident claim. They have a full complement of analysts and attorneys waiting to dispute and cast doubt on a claim because of an error or carelessness in the initial notice of claim.

The notice becomes an indelible part of the claims record. It follows wherever the claim goes. If poorly done, it will be a bone in the claimant’s throat forever.

That’s why your doctors’ treatment is not completed until a full and fair assessment of your physical and mental problems in relation to your occupation have been presented with your notice of claim. The physician’s report should contain not only the full details of the illness or injury, but also an analysis of what effect the illness or injury will have on the performance of your occupational duties, and a corresponding assessment of the restrictions and limitations which your illness or injury forces upon you. Only then will the doctor have performed the duties required.

Don't Accept The Short End Of The Stick

Getting a physician to report in a disability claim may be difficult because the physician doesn’t understand what is required or because the doctor believes he or she is not getting paid enough to spend the time necessary to do the reporting job correctly. In either case your claim may be severely disadvantaged.

You should have a “straight talk” with your physician as soon as possible if you are considering filing a disability claim. If the doctor doesn’t get it, you must impress upon him or her that, being unable to work, disability benefits are vital to the well-being of the patient – YOU!

The doctor must be made aware that any medical report must not only describe your condition, but also what effect that condition has on your ability to perform the various job duties you have. Only such a report should be submitted to the carrier for consideration. If you or your doctor need help covering all of the bases in the proposed report, get your disability claims attorney into the picture fast so there will be no delay in getting the notice of claim to your carrier.

There is an old saying about the importance of starting off on the right foot. There is no more important place for following the sense of that saying than in making a disability income insurance claim.