Disability claims of any kind, whether it is long-term disability through ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) or social security disability, require the support your doctor(s). The medical professionals who care for you need to sign off and say that you actually are disabled. Even further, they would need to agree that your disability limits you in a way that would prevent you from working according to your disability insurance policy.
So what do you do if your doctor won't support your disability?
The most important thing you can do is to have supportive doctors. It may seem simple, but that's the first step. If you are not being supported by your doctor, you owe it to yourself and your family to seek out a second or even third opinion.
Honestly, the reason for a doctor not agreeing with you may be something simple, like he or she is just so busy with everything else that your file doesn't get close enough consideration. You want your doctor to be behind you before you go out on disability. This makes the process of seeking additional opinions all the more important if your doctor doesn't support your disability claim.
One of the first things we look at with a long-term disability case is whether or not the claimant (the disabled person) has the support or his or her doctors.
Think of it this way. Getting supportive medical professionals for your disability claim is a dose of preventative medicine. Do it before you get too far into the process.
Finally, it is important to note that with the language in some policies and the standards being applied, you may not be able to find a doctor who would agree that you are too disabled to do the job (or whatever the criteria are being applied to the claim). It may seem unfair, but many of these policies are written to the advantage of the policy issuer - often that is your employer.
We have published a free report titled Robbery Without a Gun: Why Your Employer's Long-term Disability Policy May Be a Sham that you can download today.
If you would like to talk with a lawyer about your long-term disability claim denial, you can call our offices at (703)584-7277. We regularly handle ERISA and other long-term disability cases. Our team will be able to help you make smarter choices about your claim and guide you in the right direction.