One of the most crucial pieces of evidence in supporting a long term disability claim is the opinion of the claimant’s treating physician that he or she is disabled.
Many physicians are more than happy to assist their patients with forms required by the LTD provider and in some cases, narrative accounts of their patient’s disabling condition.
Sometimes, though, even with the support of your physician, problems can still arise. Often, this is because of the office visit notes your physician makes with each of your visits. Phrases such as, “doing well,” “symptoms improved,” “responding well to medication,” while meant as shorthand by the doctor that her treatment plan is working, are often used by the insurance company to conclude that you are no longer disabled.
Notations of vacations and social activities can cause similar problems. For this reason, it is important to make sure your doctor is aware that you are either making or maintaining a disability claim and that her notes will be an important part of proving your disability claim. Educate your physician about these insurance company tactics so she can include additional comments explaining that you “remain disabled despite improvement.”
If your insurance company indicates that they believe you have improved, “based on your treating provider’s opinion,” this often stems from the office visit notes. There are things you can do to ameliorate the situation. A brief statement from your doctor addressing inaccuracies based on office visit notes can also help.
If you are having trouble with your claim because of information in your office visit notes, we strongly recommend you seek legal advice from an attorney knowledgeable in ERISA-governed LTD policies before proceeding with your initial claim or appeal, as the case may be. At Kantor & Kantor, we can help you navigate this issue. Please contact us for a free consultation at 888-569-6013 or use our online contact form. We understand, and we can help.