The importance of medical records for long-term disability claims

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2020 | ERISA Disability Benefits

Our society has a strange obsession with the idea of people receiving unearned benefits, such as long-term disability payouts. Disability insurance protects those who developed medical conditions or suffer injuries that leave them with long-term consequences that impact their ability to continue working or care for themselves on a daily basis.

The overwhelming cultural worry that someone who could continue working might receive disability benefits has led to both the government and private insurers to take a skeptical approach to every application, especially for long-term disability benefits.

Evidence will likely make or break your claim

You can expect that your application for long-term disability benefits will receive severe scrutiny. Especially if your case is unusual or your prognosis is worse than others with the same condition, you may have to document the real impact of your condition on your life.

The more thorough and explicit the documentation you can provide about the nature of your injury and its impact on your life, the stronger your case will be. You can gather some evidence on your own, including written statements, pictures and videos that show how your condition impacts your life and job, but in many cases, the most important evidence will come from your primary care physician and any specialists you also see.

The language used by physicians can influence your application

You might think that just having a diagnosis that would result in disabling symptoms would be enough to reduce the scrutiny your application will receive, but unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Those who review claims for long-term disability benefits can deny a valid application on the grounds that their physician simply didn’t make their symptoms seem serious enough.

Proper wording is critical to the success of a disability filing, and physicians who rush through paperwork can leave people at risk for a denial. Some medical professionals even go through special training to ensure that they adequately explain a patient’s symptoms and effectively communicate the impact of a medical condition on their life.

As a result, you may find that your physician requires additional payment or charges a fee to execute disability documents or provide a letter. You may have to pay a fee at each medical practice that treats you. Those costs may be well worth the expense, as they could drastically increase the likelihood of a successful claim.