Why Won’t My Doctor Help
With My Disability Insurance Claim?

We frequently discuss how important it is for your treating doctor to support your disability insurance claim.  Oftentimes, though, doctors are reluctant to help with the process.  Understanding why your provider is hesitant to get involved can better equip you to enlist his or her support.

In our experience, these are the most common reasons why treatment providers decline to assist with disability insurance claims:

They don’t have time.  Doctors have extremely busy schedules.  Often, they’re concerned that they simply don’t have enough time to properly complete all of the insurance company’s required forms or to answer questions from your claims adjuster.

They are worried about the insurance company harassing them.  Many healthcare providers know how complex and combative disability insurance claims can be.  Sometimes, providers don’t want to get involved with a claim at all, because they’ve heard of (or experienced) claims personnel harassing treating doctors.  This can be a legitimate concern, as left unchecked, insurance companies will often bother treating doctors with repetitive requests for information, pushy phone calls, or by second-guessing the doctors’ treatment plan.

They are worried about doing something to hurt your claim.  On the other hand, many providers aren’t familiar with the private disability insurance claims process at all.  This sometimes makes providers hesitant to complete Attending Physician’s Statements or to discuss your claim with an adjuster for fear that they will inadvertently say something that prejudices you.

They don’t know the definition of disability in your policy.  Not every treatment provider is familiar with the type of own-occupation policy that many physicians, dentists, and other professionals purchase.  When some providers hear the word “disability,” they think of a state of total helplessness, or of the much more stringent Social Security definition of “disability.”  If a provider doesn’t know that your policy deems you “disabled” if your condition prevents you from performing the duties of your own job, he or she might think you don’t qualify for disability benefits.

They don’t think your condition prevents you from working in your job.  Even if your provider knows the definition of disability in your policy, he or she still might not think you qualify for disability benefits because, in his or her medical opinion, you can still work in your current job.

They don’t like the idea of “disability”.  Some medical providers just don’t like the idea of patients collecting disability benefits of any kind.  They chose to work in a healthcare profession because they want their patients to lead healthy, productive lives, and they see helping with disability insurance claims as being in direct opposition to that goal.

Though these are some of the most common, there are many reasons why doctors are unwilling support legitimate disability insurance claims.  If you believe you’re entitled to disability benefits but are having trouble working with your treatment provider, you should consider contacting an attorney who handles disability insurance claims.  He or she can review your policy and medical records and determine whether you may have a valid disability insurance claim under your particular policy definitions.  If so, the attorney can examine why your doctor is hesitant to assist you, and help you develop a strategy for moving forward productively.

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