Anya, 47, is in the process of applying for disability benefits due to severe anxiety. Although she has been seeing the same doctor for the last ten years, she is becoming frustrated by his busy schedule. She’s tried to book several appointments with him to get documented evidence that she is suffering from a mental health disability, but has been unsuccessful.
Worried that she might jeopardize her disability claim, Anya searched for a new primary care physician in Ontario using the provincial website. She found one who was not only accepting new patients but was also keen to take her on. Anya met with her new doctor and was pleased with how helpful he was in documenting her disability and providing her with detailed, timely reports.
Medical Evidence Is Important To Disability Claims
Many times, the insurance company will claim that a doctor’s evaluation of their patient’s inability to work is not persuasive enough. This is why it is important to keep records of everything related to a disability claim. A narrative report from a specialist or primary physician can be significant to a claim. This report should contain not just the diagnosis and the doctor’s opinion on their patient’s disability, but also a thorough treatment of their symptoms, how those symptoms affect their functionality both in and out of the workplace, the treatment they are undertaking and, if available, a prognosis into their future.
Video: When Should I Apply For Disability Benefits If I Don’t Have A Diagnosis?
A Detailed Doctor’s Report Can Make A Big Difference
Here is some general information on how doctors can help best manage the disability forms that need to be completed on behalf of their patients.
Doctors should refrain from rewriting discussions they have had with their patients in which they refer to details of discussions with the disability insurance company or lawyers. These notes will inevitably be seen by the insurance company when they request clinical notes and records.
If a doctor hasn’t firmly established a diagnosis but is certain that their patient is unable to work, the disability insurance forms filled out by the physician should clearly say this. Insurance companies tend to use the lack of a definitive diagnosis as a reason to deny the client based on insufficient medical evidence.
A doctor may believe their patient’s symptoms are legitimate but need additional testing to make a precise diagnosis. This doesn’t mean that the patient is not disabled; it presumably means that establishing the next steps for treatment remains unclear. When a doctor provides narrative reports to the insurance company, it should clearly include their opinion so that the insurer won’t interpret the notes unfavourably.
Although a doctor may suggest that a patient work from home or take on lighter duties in the hopes that it might keep the patient’s mind active and engaged and benefit them overall, this may backfire. The insurance company will focus on those comments and ignore whatever else the doctor may have to say about their patient’s ability to work.
Video: Why Is It Important To Keep Good Records?
How Doctors Can Best Use Their Valuable Time To Help Patients
Many cases for denied disability claims can take over a year to be resolved, which means that patients are suffering through not only the ailment itself but also with the added stress of fighting with the insurance company.
More often than not, a patient keeps returning for help that a doctor may not be able to provide, and the time arrives when the best thing a medical professional can do is refer the patient to someone that can help. The easiest way out is to refer the patient to a disability law firm with experienced long-term disability lawyers who can help support your patient during this difficult time in their life. That’s where Share Lawyers can help you. We offer your patients a free consultation to help them determine their options.
When doctors refer their patients to Share Lawyers they don’t have to deal with the patient time after time on their own as they battle with the insurance company. This referral will immediately give the patient access to multiple resources that will support them on numerous fronts, including multiple disability lawyers (not just one), additional medical resources that can help to verify and validate the claim, financial resources, plus a network of recommended support services and trusted physical and mental health therapists, all within a streamlined workflow that is built to accelerate the case progress.
It’s called Life reBUILDER™, exclusively from Share Lawyers. It offers unique add-on services to help rebuild a patient’s life and get them back on track. That is why we are truly different.
If you have had your claim for long-term disability denied, contact the long-term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our experienced team of long-term disability (LTD) lawyers can help. We have recently settled cases against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and many more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.