Surgeons are considered to be the most skilled of all medical professionals. The very nature of surgery is complex and requires that the surgeon be physically and mentally prepared for surgery every time they operate on a patient. So when a surgeon becomes disabled and needs to file a long-term disability claim, it may be surprising to find out that it’s much harder than their patients to be approved for benefits.
In this article, we will explore the following:
- Why it’s so difficult to file a Long Term Disability claim as a surgeon;
- How to create a winning claim; and
- How you can obtain a professional evaluation of your disability insurance policy.
Why Is It Challenging For a Surgeon to File LTD?
The salary of a surgeon is in the top three of salaries for medical professionals according to the latest CNBC report on top-paying jobs in America. With an average salary of $251,890, surgeons are compensated for the high level of skill it requires to do their job. Although it is well-known that a surgeon needs to be in peak physical and mental condition to do their job, if a surgeon becomes disabled and files a long-term disability claim, they will have a much harder time getting approved.
Why? Because the insurance company approaches cases from a fiscal perspective. They assess the financial implications of providing benefits to a surgeon during their period of illness or disability. The longer the surgeon’s recovery time, the more financial scrutiny they may face during the claims process.
Tips for a Successful Claim
Tip #1 Gather Strong Medical Evidence
You may not be well-acquainted with the medical documentation required for long-term disability claims. You need to gather all of the medical records related to your disability from your attending physicians. Ensure your pain levels and limitations are well-documented, as this is an often overlooked but essential part of proving your claim. If you suffer from a mental health disorder, then including medical records for psychological treatment is also crucial.
Tip #2 Anticipate Surveillance
Large claims, like a surgeon’s, attract surveillance, which is entirely legal. During the surveillance period, an investigator might monitor your home, talk to neighbors about your daily activities, and attempt to use this information against you in court. This is why it is crucial to not rush back into exercise routines or any other strenuous activities.
Tip #3 Stay Off Social Media
As discussed in our article about social media and long-term disability claims, your insurer may monitor your social media accounts. It’s advisable to steer clear of social media during this time, as investigators might use any information they find against your claim.
Tip #4 Do Not Try to Go Back to Work Too Fast
A surgeon might find the recovery period monotonous and unproductive. Transitioning from an active schedule to prolonged rest can feel like confinement. Nevertheless, surgeons must resist the temptation to resume work prematurely. Returning to work before complete physical and mental recovery could lead to costly errors and potential legal issues.
Request a Free Policy Evaluation
If you’re considering acquiring a disability insurance policy or have just bought one, we can help you understand your entitlements and identify any coverage gaps that could result in a denied claim. Insurance policies can be tricky to understand for those who are not well-versed in them. As part of our evaluation, we’ll clarify the policy’s implications specific to your situation.
We’ll review aspects of your policy like:
- Total versus partial disability;
- Specialized occupation versus any viable occupation;
- Limitations on mental and nervous disability benefits; and
- Limitations on self-reported conditions benefits.
Representation by An Experienced Long Term Disability Attorney
Winning a long-term disability claim can be a significant challenge for surgeons, especially given the considerable costs involved. Insurance companies will look for any reasons to reject the claim. However, with the right medical evidence and by avoiding insurance company traps, a surgeon can build a convincing case for disability.
Engaging an experienced disability attorney can help protect you against insurance investigators. Although based in Florida, we represent claimants nationwide. Call us at (888) 321-8131 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.