Be sure that you are under the care of a doctor qualified to treat your condition
Many disability policies require that you be under the care of a doctor with appropriate training and experience to treat your condition. It is unlikely that the insurance company will approve your claim based on your doctor’s opinion alone. However, your doctor will have to certify to the insurance company that you are disabled, for example, by filling out forms and producing medical records. An experienced disability insurance attorney can help you communicate with your doctor and facilitate the flow of information to your insurance company.
Don’t be ashamed
You worked hard and derived a great sense of pride and satisfaction from your job. You paid for your disability coverage through insurance premiums or as a part of your compensation package with your employer. You did this for the peace of mind that your coverage would be there to replace at least a portion of your income in the event that you became disabled.
Don’t exaggerate or minimize the nature or extent of your impairment
Insurance companies will question the validity of your claim. Don’t allow another person’s skepticism about the severity of your symptoms trick you into exaggerating your ailments. Most disability plans don’t require you to be totally incapacitated or bed ridden to qualify for benefits. Your consistent and credible report of your symptoms is important evidence of your disability. It is also important that you do not minimize your impairment. You may feel uncomfortable talking about your symptoms. However, in order to obtain your disability benefits, you need to accurately communicate the nature and extent of your disabling symptoms to your doctor(s) and the insurance company.
Make your record
Do not trust that the insurance company will gather evidence for you. In fact, most disability plans and policies place the burden on you to establish your entitlement to benefits. Be sure that your insurance company receives all supportive medical records. If you have an important phone conversation with someone from the insurance company, confirm the important details in a letter or email to that person. When you submit documents to the insurance company, deliver them by fax (and save the delivery confirmation page) or certified mail (and save a copy of the documents along with the deliver confirmation number) so that you can prove when the insurance company received them.« Return to the ERISA & Insurance Litigation Resource Center
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