Insurance companies will always assert that you must have”objective evidence” to support your disability claim. Of course, Policies do not always require objective evidence, and even worse, what you or your doctors may consider objective, your insurance company may not. Insurance companies will often try to characterize your evidence as”subjective” or self-reported (and thus, according to them, unreliable.) So, what to do? While it can sometimes be very difficult to muster evidence with certain disabling conditions, there are a range of options to explore that may be available to you.
You can work with your doctor (or her/his staff) to obtain evidence – from the more obvious testing, such as stress tests for the heart; blood tests for a range of other conditions; functional capacity evaluations (FCE) (to assess your capacity to work or function for a given amount of time in a work-simulated environment), or independent medical evaluations (IME) by a doctor separate or ‘independent’ of your primary doctor or specialist(s). FCEs and IMEs may require referrals or separate payment, depending on your insurance.
Insurers generally deem a doctor’s report of your medical history and treatment, or your doctor’s clear, articulated notes from clinical observations during your appointments, as the most relevant or compelling evidence of disability. Insurers will often contact your doctor, by phone or in writing, and while we always encourage our clients’ doctors to conduct correspondence with insurers in writing, so that nothing is misconstrued or taken out of context, it can be critical for your doctor(s) to participate in the process of accurately and comprehensively documenting your disability, symptoms, side effect of pain medications, etc.
Letters from co-workers, supervisors, or even friends and family describing you and your condition and their personal observations of your troubles are also helpful. Evidence of activities you formerly were engaged in but have now let lapse due to your condition is also worthy of submission.
The point is that you should not overlook anything which is in anyway relevant to your disability claim. Put your best foot forward. If you don’t understand something your doctor said or wrote, get clarification. If you do not think your doctor has adequately diagnosed or treated your condition, get a second opinion. DO NOT assume that the insurance company will take what you say at face value. They won’t. They are much more likely to discount everything you say, and everything you provide.