As a dentist, you are a doctor of oral health and restore confidence to your patients. You also pay hefty insurance premiums to cover you and your business in case you become disabled. So why is the insurance company making it so difficult for you to get a long-term disability claim approved?
In this article, we will discuss:
- Why the insurance company is giving you the runaround;
- How to get your Long Term Disability claim approved; and
- How you can obtain a professional evaluation of your disability insurance policy.
Why The Insurance Company Is Giving You The Runaround
The short answer is money. The amount of money that the insurance company will have to pay you as opposed to a lower-paying job such as a receptionist is substantial. They are trying to save themselves as much money as possible. To save money, they will make it extremely difficult for you to get your claim approved. The insurance investigators will try many tactics to trip you up.
Fortunately, we have experience handling insurance companies and have put together some tips that will help you get your claim approved or win your case in court. Using these tips will also provide you with an understanding of how underhanded the insurance investigators can be to protect their assets.
Tips for Getting A LTD Claim Approved
Tip #1 Gather Strong Medical Evidence
Unlike family doctors, dentists usually do not have experience with completing the medical paperwork needed to file for long-term disability. Collect all the medical evidence from your doctors that are treating your disability. Be sure that your doctors are noting your pain levels in your medical records. This is not always common practice, but you will need this information for your claim. For more information on how to create a strong administrative file, read this article.
Tip #2 Do Not Try to Go Back to Work Too Fast
The second most important thing to remember is to not return to work too quickly. Many times dentists have built a nice, substantial practice with patients, staff, and other dentists depending on them.
Resist the urge to pull yourself back to work too quickly. You do not want to find yourself in court because you performed a procedure that you were not physically and mentally ready to perform.
Tip #3 Anticipate Surveillance
Many times the insurance company will put you under surveillance. With a large claim like that of a dentist, you can bet on it! Surveillance is completely legal. During the surveillance period, an investigator will stake out your house, talk to nearby neighbors about daily activities and try to use that information against you in court. This is why it is imperative to not rush back into exercise routines or anything else that is very strenuous on the body during the claim period.
Tip #4 Stay Off Social Media
In our article here, we discuss the likelihood that social media accounts will be monitored. While at home resting, you may be tempted to start becoming more active on social media. We suggest staying off social media entirely during the claim period. Posting a picture of you walking your dog can be used against you by the insurance company.
Suggested Way To Stay Organized
There is a lot of paperwork to keep track of when applying for Long Term Disability. Staying organized and saving all correspondence will help you if your claim is denied and you need to go to court. Create a binder or filing system for the following documents:
- Copy of your LTD policy;
- Copies of all letters from your insurance company and you to the insurance company;
- Why you cannot perform your job duties (this will require medical documentation);
- A list of all medical providers that you have seen for this condition and a letter from each provider stating that your condition prevents you from working; and
- Letters that summarize all conversations (by phone or in-person) between you and the insurance company representatives, nurses, doctors, and your employer. Send copies to all parties involved in the communication via certified mail as proof it was received.
Keep everything chronological so that if your claim is denied you have a complete record of how your claim was handled.
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.
Fill out the form below to submit your request, and please allow 5 business days to receive your free Policy Evaluation Report.
Dentists will find it challenging to get a long-term disability claim approved due to the substantial cost to the insurance company. The insurance company will try to find any reason to deny the claim. By providing strong medical evidence, keeping a low profile, and not rushing back to work too soon, a dentist 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 is a national law firm and 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 you qualify for Long-Term Disability Benefits and how to navigate through the appeals process.