As a dentist, you’re likely no stranger to hand, neck and back pain and you probably have your own personal remedies for when things get particularly bad. Maybe you ice your hands at the end of each day, see a chiropractor or get a massage on a weekly basis. Or maybe you go back to your office to stretch between patients and/or lie down to rest your legs and lower back.
The majority of our clients are dentists, and most of them come to us with the same initial question: should I stop practicing and file a disability claim, or should I just push through the pain? Many of them feel pressure to keep working, in spite of their conditions, because their income is production-based, or they own their practice and cannot afford to spend several months away from it recovering from surgery.
At the same time, continuing to work places your patients at risk and exposes you to malpractice and licensing issues. And if you have a condition like carpal tunnel or degenerative disc disease, the demands of dentistry likely caused your condition in the first place and therefore continuing to practice will likely only cause further problems, and result in the need for more procedures and surgeries down the road.
If you have found yourself in this unfortunate predicament, you probably have a lot of questions. Should I have surgery, or just try conservative treatment? If I file a claim, will my disability insurer force me to have surgery? Will surgery fix the numbness? Will I be able to go back to work? How will my practice survive while I recover? Should I sell my practice? Or should I hire on a temporary associate to keep things afloat?
Ultimately, the answers to these questions largely depend on several factors, including whether you own your practice, the nature of your condition, your insurer, when your policies were issued, and what the key definitions in your policy say, among other things. Regardless of where you are in the disability claims process, our firm is here to help. We’ve compiled the resources below for dentists who are interested in learning more about the disability claims process.
Our attorneys are also happy to answer your questions, so please feel free to call us directly, or submit your question using the link below.
- What Should I Expect When Filing A Disability Claim?
- A Question of Ethics: When is it Time to File a Disability Insurance Claim?
- What If You Could Not Be a Dentist?
- Do You Have a True “Own Occupation” Policy?
- Degenerative Disc Disease and the Dentist
- Musculoskeletal Conditions in Dentistry: The Most Common Disability, The Most Difficult Disability Claim
- Disability Insurance and the Dentist: Can You Collect on Your Policy?
- 10 More Legal Mistakes Professionals Make When Filing a Claim for Disability
- The Injured Dentist: Is Your Work Ethic Hurting You and Your Patients?
- A Stiff Upper Lip Can Lead To Getting Stiffed By Your Insurer: Chronic Pain and Your Ability to Collect Disability Insurance Benefits
- What Every Dentist Needs to Know About Disability Insurance
- How a Dentist Can Avoid the Common Obstacles to Filing a Disability Claim
- Working Through Pain: How Chronic Conditions Affect Dentists
- Dealing With the Demands of Dentistry: It’s Ok to Ask for Help
- Why is It so Hard to Collect on My Disability Insurance Policy?
- Do You Need Disability Insurance for More than Just Yourself?
- Disability Insurance Basics: How to Choose a Policy
- What Is the Difference Between an “Own Occupation” Policy and an “Any Occupation” Policy?
- Don’t Toss the Policy: Important Documents for a Disability Claim