Protect Yourself Against A Functional Capacity Evaluation

In addition to IME’s (Independent Medical Examinations) insurance companies are also known to use Functional Capacity Evaluations, known as FCE’s, to analyze a claimant’s disability.  These evaluations assess the ability to perform a series of tasks which simulate customary job duties and determine the extent to which the claimant can complete these job duties on a regular basis.  FCE’s can have different focuses and purposes and be referred to as Physical Capacity Evaluations, Work Capacity Evaluations, or Disability Assessments, but they all mean the same thing: the insurance company is attempting to use a biased and flawed evaluation system to challenge the statements of you and your doctor about your ability to return to work.   Continue reading

6 Tips To Keep Your Disability Claim Moving

One of the biggest red flags a claimant can inadvertently create in their disability claim is to move.  While there are many legitimate reasons someone can move, claim examiners have been trained to closely scrutinize a case where a claimant moves.  New sets of arguments and investigative avenues are opened for the insurance company to use against you.  As anyone who’s moved can tell you, moving is difficult at best.  And the last thing someone needs, who is already trying to move while dealing with their disability, are new and additional hassles from their disability insurance company, not to mention the added stress of worrying that their benefits will be delayed or stopped.  If you’re currently applying for or receiving disability benefits, there are several issues we think you should understand as well as a few tips on how to keep the disability claim process moving smoothly during this stressful time.   Continue reading

Our Top 3 Alternative Treatments for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a condition that presents a challenging claim scenario because of the difficult nature of the diagnosis, the many testing options, and the wide variety of treatment plans prescribed by physicians.  Each of these factors relate to one another in a disability, and all need to be well documented in a disability claim.  However, this does not mean that you have to blindly follow a physician’s treatment plan.  There are many alternative treatments that are safe to use in conjunction with your recommended care and treatment and will help reduce the stress and suffering caused by chronic pain syndrome.  Alternative treatments are common among our clients, so we’d like to mention the three most often used alternative treatments.  Therapies and results vary from person to person, and what works for one individual may not work for another.  Before starting any alternative course of therapy, please do prudent research to allow you to discuss it with your treating physician.  Most importantly, never abandon a treatment plan prescribed by your doctors.  Research and discuss alternatives to be an engaged patient but don’t abandon it.   Continue reading

3 Reasons Your Invisible Disability Benefit Claim Was Denied

When many people think of a claimant who is receiving disability benefits, they picture someone who is visibly and physically unable to work.  Although many claimants suffer from conditions of this nature, some of the most painful and devastating conditions include categories often referred to as “invisible disabilities.”  Invisible disabilities include such conditions as CFIDS, Fibromyalgia, chronic pain and mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depression.  These conditions can be every bit as severe and debilitating as outwardly obvious conditions but are often met with skepticism and distrust by disability claim professionals.  Many claimants who suffer from invisible diseases encounter seemingly unending questions and problems with their long term disability claims and the claims process.  We have seen people make inadvertent errors in how they’re presented their disability claims and simply give up, surrendering their rights to the disability benefits they actually deserve.  Here are the three common reasons that disability claims based on one of these invisible diseases are denied. Continue reading

Doctor’s Corner: Behind a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis

As many professional jobs become more and more computer-based, disabilities that involve nerve, muscle or tendon damage in the hands have become a major issue.  These conditions prevent people from typing reports, replying to e-mails, and completing the day-to-day tasks of their jobs.  These conditions can range from work modifications to a short-term disability, simply requiring a short period of rest away from the office and the stresses of work, to a total and permanent disability.  One common condition causing such disability claims is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).  In today’s blog, I am going to walk through the information many doctors will look for and use in writing a report for your disability insurance company.  Even if you aren’t suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, this article can be useful to show the steps an examiner follows when diagnosing your condition. Continue reading

6 Potential Pitfalls of Your Chronic Back Pain Disability Claim

Almost everyone will experience some sort of back pain during the course of their lives.  This can extend from the cervical to thoracic to lumbar, not to mention shooting into arms and legs, and range in severity from a minor, short-term twinge to protracted, excruciating pains that last for months.  For people who deal with chronic back pain on a daily basis, performing what used to be simple tasks and normal work functions can become difficult and sometimes unbearable.  Even with surgical intervention, the pain may prove too overwhelming for many people.  In addition, this pain can lead to a host of other conditions such as depression and anxiety.  When this occurs, sufferers of chronic back pain may need to consider applying for their disability benefits.

The claim process is full of unexpected pitfalls and hurdles that may weaken the claim and cause benefits to either be delayed or denied, preventing you from having the money you were counting on to pay the many bills that crop up when you become disabled.  These following six tips represent some of the most common problems our clients have experienced when filing their claim for benefits based upon conditions that cause chronic back pain and the ways to avoid these problems, helping you receive your benefits as soon as possible when you need them most.   Continue reading

The Doctor’s Corner: 9 Tips for Dealing With Chronic Pain Syndrome

Our firm gets many questions from individuals experiencing all different kinds of issues with their disability insurance.  From questions about nuances between companies and policies to what could be considered to be appropriate care, we help with details of disability insurance everyday.  However, these aren’t the only issues facing our clients.  We know that our clients can better help themselves and return to work more successfully if they take care of themselves and follow some simple steps to help improve their recoveries.  In today’s blog, I am going to talk about a few simple techniques to help those suffering from some of the most common condition that reach out for our help: chronic pain syndrome. Continue reading

Around the Nation: News and Insight From Across the DI World

In the past few weeks, there have been some interesting news articles that either impact the landscape of the disability insurance industry or affect how disability benefits may be awarded in the future.  As a disability claim consultancy firm, we accept our challenging responsibility to stay current on industry news and realize that many don’t have the time or ability to keep up with the volume or focus of information.  There are developments in many different fields that can have a direct impact on disability insurance and individual claims, from new medical research to job programs to court decisions.  Taking the time to research our industry allows us to stay current on the best claims presentation and handling processes and updates the ways we interact with our clients and the recommendations we make about their disability claims.  We hope that seeing how we keep our clients up to date on news and developments helps your own decision-making process and builds trust in the disability claim community.  Of course, the only problem is that change and developments never stop.  While these topics were current when this blog post was written, everyday they become a little more outdated.  Please stay tuned for future news and updates.  Continue reading

Uncovering the Secrets of Insurance Company Surveillance

Surveillance is an issue that has been mentioned in several past blogs and creates tension and stress for claimants and insurance companies.  Disability claim examiners are trained to recognize certain “red flags,” ranging from incorrect statements on claims forms, to inconsistencies with medical information, to the experiences of a claims handler, that can trigger different types of surveillance.  In response to several questions about specific surveillance techniques and how to handle them, I’d like to explain some of the more common tactics used on a regular basis by insurance companies.   Continue reading

Arthritis: Common Claim Mistakes and How to Get Approved for Benefits

If I were to ask you the number one cause of disability in the United States, what would you say? It may surprise you that the answer is…arthritis.  Arthritis is a very common condition that affects the ability of more than 20 million Americans to work in their chosen careers on a daily basis. It manifests itself in many different forms, but the main type is osteoarthritis followed by rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. In the case of individuals who try and continue their careers, their work abilities can be marred by absenteeism and frequent doctor appointments to deal with the pain and difficulties of movement. It’s estimated that over $60 billion dollars a year in earnings are lost due to this degenerative disease. Disability insurance is a very important consideration in the treatment and recovery of an arthritis patient, so it’s critical to remember several key points when applying for disability benefits from an insurance company. Continue reading