Five Simple Mistakes to Avoid When Completing Long Term Disability Paperwork
Completing paperwork for your long-term disability claim is one of the first steps in the process. While it is essential to provide accurate and thorough information, too often people share too much or not enough on their paperwork that can open the door for a denied claim.
Step 1: Don’t Generalize Your Symptoms
Stating specifically how your symptoms are affecting your everyday life is essential. Has someone ever asked you “How are you doing?” and instead of telling them how badly you feel, you simply respond “fine.” ; This is not the time to say you are “fine.” Create a running list of the medical symptoms you are experiencing, and what barriers they are creating for you.
Don’t be hesitant to share your mental symptoms as well. Becoming disabled is known to cause depression; if you experience this be sure to let them know. List all of your medications and any side effects that you may be experiencing as well.
Step 2: Don’t Leave Out Your Work Limitations
Listing work limitations may seem extremely obvious, but sometimes when you are dealing with a painful injury, you may forget to gather evidence of your current work limitations. A list of your past work requirements and what your current restrictions are will be beneficial to your claim. They may request you fill out a work questionnaire. They may also ask your doctor to complete a functional capacity report. This can be a great supporting document for your claim.
Be specific about the type of work that you performed before you were disabled. Did you bend or lift heavy items? Did you sit all day? Don’t forget the little things that may be outside of your job description. Do you take out all the trash once a week or have to carry heavy boxes of supplies down to another office? You may overlook these tasks because they are not a part of your job description, but they are still a part of your job.
Step 3: Don’t Forget to Review Your Doctor’s Notes in Your Medical Records
Your doctor(s) will take notes each time you visit the doctor’s office. You need to make sure that your doctor is recording your symptoms AND how the meds are making you feel. Writing down how a patient feels is not a common practice for many doctors. It may be something that they cannot treat like fatigue or depression. Even though you are telling the doctor how you feel, don’t assume the doctor is writing it down. The insurance company will want to see it in writing, and the insurance company may assume you are being untruthful if your recollection is not reflected in the doctor’s notes.
Step 4: Don’t Miss Appointments
The insurance adjuster will request your records for all the doctors that you list along with a list of appointments. If you miss an appointment, they may assume that you are not as sick or injured as you claim. Keep your appointments. Co-pay costs can become a financial burden. Request that the billing department put you on a payment plan so you can keep your appointments.
Step 5: Don’t Have Sloppy Records
Keeping neat, preferably typed records is essential. Your claim can be denied a few times so keeping correspondence in order is critical.
What If My Claim Has Already Been Denied?
If you have already received a letter of denial, it would be a good idea to contact an LTD attorney that can help you navigate the process with the insurance company. An experienced LTD attorney can help you gather all the documents you need to create a complete administrative file. They can also help you stay on track with your timeline. Most cases have a deadline for appeals.
It’s important to note that your Long Term Disability attorney does not get paid until you do so that you can proceed with your case without fear of upfront legal bills or costs.
Although based in Florida, the Ortiz Disability Law Firm represents claimants across the United States. If you’d like to speak to an experienced Long Term Disability Insurance Attorney about your denied claim, contact us at (888) 321-8131 to schedule a consultation. We can help you evaluate your claim to determine whether you qualify for Long Term Disability Benefits and how to move through the appeals process.