The Importance of Physician Support in Disability Claims

Navigating through the process of obtaining or keeping your short-term or long-term disability includes obtaining supportive statements from your treating physicians.  Not only is it important to collect medical records for your claim but also it is imperative that you garner an attending physician statement that will support your disability.

Prior to filing for short-term or long-term insurance benefits, you should make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your decision to leave work. Once you arrive at your appointment, be sure to take the time to explain why you need their help in the claims process.  If you need a form or letter written, make sure that the doctor explains in as much detail as possible the severity of the symptoms you experience and how they impact your ability to work.

One of the most common reasons for a disability claim denial by an insurance company is due to lack of proof of disability.  Starting the process with your physician should happen prior to submitting a disability claim.  Waiting to file a disability claim until after confirming first that your physician will be willing to provide support will help ensure a positive outcome.

Physician support is extremely important in obtaining disability benefits.  The following notations might help you in discussing and obtaining your doctor’s support in completing the necessary documentation for disability:

  • Call your doctor and state that you want make an appointment to discuss disability. The discussion will go more smoothly if the doctor is expecting the talk.
  • Bring the proper paper work with you to your appointment.
  • Explain why you need to apply for disability. Describe in detail how the condition is affecting your work and illustrate the struggles you are having.
  • Emphasize how this claim could help you to possibly recover in that more time could be used to focus on your health and the treatment to improve your condition.
  • Explain how disability benefits will help you monetarily to continue treatment and afford medications, as well as financially support yourself and your family.
  • Answer your physician’s questions honestly and completely.
  • Handle rejection gracefully. Some physicians are reluctant to offer assistance when filing for disability benefits.  If your doctor disagrees, you can try to calmly explain your position again.  Try to avoid emotional outbursts or fighting with your doctor.
  • If your doctor refuses, thank them for their time and perhaps try another physician who has treated you for the same conditions.
  • Give your doctor a copy of your written limitations and a job description from work.
  • As the doctor to provide as much explanation as possible for your condition.
  • Remind your physician periodically until you receive the completed documents.

Keep in mind that occasionally a doctor will charge you a fee to fill out a disability forms however most doctors do not charge any fee.

It is critical to take the time to explain to your physician the importance of your disability claim, and the financial support it will provide you and your family.  With understanding, it is more likely your physician will be willing to cooperate in the disability claim process including the completion of forms and clearly reporting to the insurance company that you are disabled and explaining how your medical conditions prevent you from working.  You want to avoid the situation where the physician feels that they may not have the time to fill out documents, may not want to get involved or not understand the importance of the documents you are asking them to complete.  If your doctor won’t fill out any forms and you find yourself trying to convince him or her to do so, you may have to see another physician.  That can be very tricky when you are in pain and have been with a doctor for a lengthy time.  However, it can be done and in order to obtain the necessary and rightful disability benefits it is a must.

Above all, it is important to continue your treatment, have the support of a treating physician who specializes in your conditions.  At O’Ryan Law Firm, we work diligently to provide an extensive and complete Attending Physician Statement for your treating doctors to complete.  We have the tools necessary to obtain a supporting physician statement and help you appeal an adverse result in your disability.