There are some types of injuries that significantly affect the body. These types of injuries limit and restrict the body’s abilities or range of motion. When this occurs, it may be impossible for you to return to work. Many people in this situation file a claim for long term disability insurance benefits. This type of compensation pays a percentage of your previous salary while you are unable to work. To get these benefits, you must thoroughly document your disability, which means working closely with your doctor. But can a doctor refuse to fill out your disability forms?
Can a Doctor Refuse to Fill out Disability Forms?
After claiming long term disability insurance benefits, the insurance company investigates your claim. For this reason, they will expect to see your medical records. Your doctor should outline your restrictions and limitations which prevent you from working. However, most disability insurers also require your doctor to fill out a form (often called an “Attending Physician Statement”) which outlines your limitations and restrictions and why you cannot work.
Are doctors required to fill out disability forms? No, doctors are not required to fill out disability forms. Your doctor can refuse to complete your form. When this happens, your chances of approval diminish.
Common Reasons Why a Doctor May Refuse to Fill out Disability Forms
Your doctor may refuse to fill out your long term disability medical forms for various reasons. These reasons may include:
- They don’t have time. Your doctor may be putting off signing your disability forms due to a full schedule. Make sure to follow up with your doctor to remind them about your forms.
- They do not want to get involved in a legal battle. If you are in a legal dispute about your long term disability insurance benefits, your doctor may be reluctant to get involved. In this situation, speak with a lawyer about your situation.
- You have not paid the appropriate fees. Your doctor may charge a service fee for medical records or for filling out forms. Make sure to double-check with your doctor to make sure you have fulfilled all the necessary requirements and paid any necessary fees. Keep in mind that their time is valuable, and you should offer to pay for their time in filling out a form. It is not part of your regular treatment.
- You have not yet been formally diagnosed. While you may be physically unable to work, your doctor may be hesitant to sign off on your forms without a formal diagnosis. You may need to have your symptoms diagnosed, or find another doctor altogether.
What to Do If a Doctor Refuses to Fill out Your Disability Forms
After you have identified your doctor’s reason for refusing your forms, you will have a better idea about how to solve the problem. A few of your options include:
- Ask for a narrative report. One way to get the information you need for your long term disability forms is through a narrative report. While you are with your doctor, ask them to dictate a narrative report. Together, you can address the questions listed on the form.
- Take a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) test. If your doctor refuses to fill out your disability forms, you can take a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) test. An FCE test lasts around four hours and assesses your abilities and range of motion. The results shed light on a person’s physical restrictions, and therefore can indicate whether they are fit to work. Beware of FCE providers that work mainly for disability insurance companies, because they will often use versions of this test that will not help you.
- Find a new doctor. You can also opt for finding a new doctor. While perhaps inconvenient, your long term disability insurance benefits may be on the line. Finding a doctor who will provide the medical information insurance adjusters need can help you with your benefits in the long run.
Contact an Experienced Long Term Disability Insurance Attorney
If you are struggling to secure compensation, get the help you need from Tucker Law Group. We have helped thousands of clients with disability insurance claims and have experience dealing with various types of disability insurance policies. This includes employer, group and individual disability policies. Our long term disability lawyers can assist you at every stage of the process, from filing a claim to appealing a denial. We also have experience with disability insurance litigation. For a free consultation, leave us a message or call us at (866) 233-5044.