Field Interviews: What to Expect After the Interview Ends
We’ve discussed why a disability insurer might want to schedule a field interview and what to expect before and during the interview itself. Now we review what claimants can expect can expect after the interview ends. Again, the process is usually different depending on whether not a disability insurance attorney is involved.
After the Field Interview
After your interview ends, the field representative will leave to do some additional reconnaissance. Without telling you, the representative may drive to your office to talk to people on your staff. He or she will see what the office looks like, if it’s busy, and whether your name is still listed on the door. If you have a disability insurance attorney, the attorney will have discussed this with you ahead of time, and together you will have taken steps to make sure the representative doesn’t bother your staff or catch them off guard.
Some days after the field interview, the representative will send you a copy of his or her report, which purports to summarize your conversation. The report will ordinarily be 8 to 10 pages or more. He or she will ask you to review the report, make any changes you see fit, and return it. The representative will advise that if you don’t make any changes by a certain date, he or she will assume that everything in the report is accurate.
For claimants with legal representation, the report will be sent to your attorney’s office. Your attorney will review the report to make sure that it accurately reflects the facts of your disability claim. He or she should be able to correct any seemingly harmless statements that a claims adjuster may take out of context to support denying or terminating your disability claim. If any important information is missing, your attorney will make sure to include it along with the report.
Meanwhile, the field representative will usually send a separate report to the insurance company. This second report will have the representative’s personal observations about you, their conversations with your staff, and any other information he or she was able to gather about your outside of the interview. You will not be provided with a copy of this report unless you’re able to obtain the claim file after your disability claim has been terminated or denied. If you have an attorney, this second report will be much more limited, as the representative will not have had the opportunity to visit your home or to pry into irrelevant or confidential information. If your disability claim is denied or terminated, your attorney will obtain and review this report for any inaccuracies or misstatements.
A field interview can be intimidating, but knowing why the interview is being conducted and what to expect during the process can make you better prepared to handle it in a way that doesn’t prejudice your claim. If you have questions or concerns about a field visit, contact a disability insurance lawyer right away.