One of the most crucial pieces of evidence in supporting a long term disability (LTD) 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, the doctor is unable or unwilling to assist. There are a variety of reasons for this: lack of time, lack of compensation, misunderstanding of the level of involvement required by the doctor, employer/hospital rules preventing them, and in some cases, a disbelief that their patient is actually disabled.
If you have a disabling condition and you are making an LTD claim, or you are receiving benefits, your doctor’s participation in the process is essential. Without a doctor’s support, in most cases, your claim is finished. If your doctor has notified you that he or she will not be able to assist you with your claim, it is important to ask him or her to tell you the reason for their decision. If it is anything other than lack of belief that you are disabled, often, further information can change their minds. The offer of additional compensation for their time is a big help. Explaining that they will not have to do anything more than the forms or a letter – that they will not have to testify in court – goes a long way in changing minds.
If your doctor does not believe you are disabled, you will likely need a different doctor for the support of your claim.
If you are having trouble getting your doctor to help you with your claim, we strongly recommend you seek legal advice from an attorney knowledgeable in ERISA-governed LTD policy’s 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 Kantor & Kantor at 888-569-6013 or use our online contact form for a free consultation.