As a chiropractor, you spend years learning how to help people get back their health after long illnesses and physical alignments. Being a chiropractor is a physically demanding job. If you become unable to work due to injury or illness and want to file for disability benefits yourself- you may be surprised at how difficult the process will be for you. In this article, we talk about:
- Why it’s so difficult to file a Long Term Disability claim as a chiropractor;
- How to create a winning claim; and
- How you can obtain a professional evaluation of your disability insurance policy.
The Challenges of Getting A Long Term Disability Claim Approved as a Chiropractor
Although medical professionals spend a lot of time and effort completing medical forms for disability claims, their own insurance claims will be different. In fact, it is much harder to get a claim approved as a chiropractor than someone who does not work in the medical field. Why? Because the insurance company is looking at your case from a financial standpoint. They look at how much money it will cost them to provide you with benefits throughout your illness or disability. The longer it could potentially take you to get back to work, the less likely they will approve your claim.
In addition to your regular salary, you may have a rider that helps recover what you have lost during your illness or injury. For example: if you are disabled for one year and come back to work, you probably have patients that had to seek medical attention from another provider. This means your income will be much less than before you were injured. A recovery rider will help support you while you rebuild your business.
Build a Winning Claim
Read your policy. This is what every patient is advised to do. Now that you are the patient, you need to read your policy thoroughly to understand what you will need to provide to have a claim approved. A group policy is different from an individual policy, so if you are working for yourself, your benefits will be different from most of your patients.
Here are some tips for building a substantial claim:
Tip #1: Gather Strong Medical Evidence
Just like you complete these forms for your patients, you now have to collect these forms from your physicians to prove your limitations. Be sure your doctor is noting your pain levels and any mental health side effects of the illness like depression. Remember to gather documents from all doctors that are treating you.
In addition to medical evidence, you will also need financial proof. Have your accounting records in good order so you can quickly answer any questions that arise.
Tip #2: Anticipate Surveillance
With a large claim like that of a medical professional, you can bet that you will be under surveillance. Surveillance is completely legal. An investigator will stake out your house and take photos and videos of you. They will even go to your neighbors’ houses, asking questions about your daily activities. They will use all of this against you if they can.
Tip #3: Stay Off Social Media
There is a high likelihood that your social media accounts will be monitored. We suggest staying off social media entirely until you return to work. The insurance investigator will use your account against you as well.
Tip #4: Do Not Try to Go Back to Work Too Fast
As a chiropractor, you may be in tune with your body more than the average person. If you own a chiropractic clinic, then you know patients and staff are depending on you. Resist the urge to go back to work too early. Pushing yourself before you are ready could mean injuring yourself more than you already are, losing your long-term disability case, and possibly making a mistake that can land you in court.
Request a Free Policy Evaluation
If you are considering purchasing a disability insurance policy or have recently purchased a policy, we will help you understand what you are entitled to and whether there are deficiencies in your coverage that could lead to a denied claim. It is easy for individual policyholders who are not trained to read insurance policies to misread or misunderstand the disability policy. As part of our evaluation, we will explain what everything means to you in your situation.
Some of the aspects of your policy we will review include:
- Total versus residual disability;
- Own occupation versus any gainful occupation;
- Mental and nervous disability benefit limitations; and
- Self-reported conditions benefit limitations.
As a chiropractor, it can be challenging to get a long-term disability claim approved due to the substantial cost to the insurance company. They will try to find any reason to deny your claim. By providing strong medical and financial evidence, keeping a low profile, and not rushing back to work too soon, you can create a solid case for disability.
Using an experienced disability attorney will help you protect yourself against insurance investigators. The Ortiz Law Firm is based in Florida but represents claimants across the country. Receive a free consultation by calling (888) 321-8131 with no obligation. We can help you evaluate your claim to determine if you will be able to access long-term disability benefits and how to move forward with the process.