Being Proactive and Hiring a Long Term Disability Attorney for Monthly Claims Handling Can Help You Keep Your Benefits for as Long as Possible

Your long-term disability insurance claim does not end when the group disability insurance company chosen by your employer accepts your claim. Even though you may have started receiving long term disability income benefits, issues may arise that put your benefits at risk. That is because the long term disability insurance carrier has the contractual right to continually evaluate and review your eligibility for disability income benefits. When these issues arise, Virginia long term disability attorney Corey Pollard can help.

Many long term disability insurance policies require claimants who are receiving benefits to submit monthly claim forms to prove ongoing eligibility for benefits. Some of the more aggressive long term disability insurance companies may even require you to obtain an Attending Physician Statement each month from your treating doctor.

Richmond long term disability lawyer Corey Pollard’s representation of you does not end after you get approved for LTD benefits. We will continue to serve as your attorney and will handle all correspondence and requests from the long term disability carrier while you are being paid.

As your Virginia long term disability attorney, we will ensure that all forms, statements, records, and other documents are submitted to the insurance carrier in a timely manner, so that you can continue to receive the disability income benefits you deserve.

If the insurance carrier refuses to do the right thing and continue to pay you benefits, you will have a long-term disability lawyer ready to take the appropriate action. Remember, the insurance company is scrutinizing your claim and looking for any way possible to suspend or cut off your benefits. An innocent mistake could lead to a delay in receiving the income you need. We can help prevent these mistakes.

There are several situations where your disability income benefits are more likely to get suspended. For example, when a new claims examiner takes over your claim, he or she may dispute your claim based on new surveillance or a different interpretation of the medical evidence.

Further, your long term disability insurance policy may contain language that changes the definition of disability over time. For example, the disability definition may change after you have been receiving long term disability benefits for a period of months or years. Even if you continue to be disabled, you may find your benefits stopped because the claims examiner thinks you no longer meet the definition of disability as it is now defined. You should contact us immediately if that happens to you.

Your long term disability insurance policy may also limit the amount of time you can receive benefits for certain mental and neurological disability. Depending on how your condition is defined by your treating physicians, the disability insurance company may try to cut off your benefits after a certain period.

Below is more information about situations that may arise while you are receiving long term disability insurance payments.

Prepare for Your Long Term Disability Insurance Claimant Interview and Field Visit

Do you have an interview scheduled with the disability insurance company? Make sure you are prepared for their questions and know your legal rights. We will provide you with advice and guidance on how to handle the claimant interview. We will also review your policy to determine whether you can have a disability lawyer accompany you at the interview. If so, we will attend. If not, we will counsel you on the questions you can expect and the most effective way to answer.

If an insurance company representative comes knocking on your door unannounced, you may refuse to answer their questions until you have had a chance to contact us. If the insurance representative won’t take no for an answer, try to have a friend with you to witness and record the field visit.

One thing to remember about insurance company field visits is that they usually happen for a reason. The insurance company may have obtained surveillance footage of you performing activities that would indicate that you are not as disabled as alleged. Even though the activities may have been harmless, or you took several days to recover following the activity, the surveillance video may be used against you to cut off your long term disability benefits.

Attending Physician’s Statement in Long Term Disability Claims

Long-term disability insurance companies frequently use the attending physician’s statement to determine if you remain disabled. This seems reasonable at first glance. The attending physician’s statement is prepared by your treating doctor and is usually a detailed report containing information about your medical history, treatment, and disabling condition. Usually the problem is not with the statement itself, but with the manner in which the disability insurance carrier may manipulate the information so that it can cut off your disability income benefits.

How Long Term Disability Insurance Companies Manipulate the Attending Physician’s Statement

We see it all of the time in long-term disability, Social Security Disability, and Virginia workers’ compensation claims. Doctors have one goal – to treat your medical condition. They are not concerned with how much you can bend, lift, push, pull, or carry during the day. Nor are they concerned with how long you can sit, stand, or walk for.

The insurance carrier, unfortunately, is more concerned with how well you can do these activities. They will be asking you and your doctor questions about these areas. If your doctor is wary of getting involved in litigation and does not understand all of the responsibilities required of your occupation, he or she may unknowingly respond to the insurance company’s questions in a way that harms your long-term disability or ERISA claim.

We understand the tactics used by insurance carriers to deny, dispute, or suspend benefits. We understand how medical evidence, including the attending physician’s statement, can be manipulated. And we’ll help you fight back against these tactics.

The Long Term Disability Insurance Company Requests that You Attend an Independent Medical Examination

When the attending physician’s statement does not provide a basis to cut off your long term disability benefits, the insurance company may ask you to attend an independent medical examination (IME). Under most insurance policies, you must attend the independent medical examination or risk having your benefits suspended automatically.

What is an IME?

A better name for independent medical examinations is defense medical examinations. This is because the exams are usually performed by a doctor who is hand-picked and paid by the insurance carrier. Most doctors are picked to conduct these examinations because their opinions are usually closely aligned with what the insurance company would like to hear – that you are not disabled and are capable of returning to work.

When an insurance company orders an independent medical examination, it usually means they are looking for a way to stop your long term disability benefits. Contact an experienced long term disability lawyer immediately. We can help protect your legal rights. We will work with you and the insurance carrier to make sure you see a treating physician who is qualified to evaluate your condition and who will provide an unbiased opinion. We will not let the insurance company take advantage of you.

We’re Here to Help You Keep Your Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits