During the initial disability application process and throughout the life of your long-term disability claim, your disability insurance company may require you to fill out various long-term disability forms. One of the most common forms they will request from you is a “Claimant Statement.” This type of form has various names, but the common elements in this type of form are questions about what you can and cannot do (i.e., your limitations).
As the claimant, the claimant statement form allows you to inform the insurance company about your disabling condition. Within the form, you will describe your disabling condition, why you feel that you are disabled from the condition and describe your daily life with your condition.
Tips for Filling Out Your Claimant Statement
The claimant statement form is an important document and it is vital that you are precise and thorough when completing it. Here are our tips for filling out your form:
- Provide Thorough Responses
- Be Specific on Your Claimant Statement
- List Examples to Describe Your Disability
- Avoid Absolute Statements Unless They Are Always True
- List All of Your Limitations
- Attach Additional Paper If Needed
Provide Thorough Responses
Do not give one-word answers. For example, if the forms asks, “Do you need help preparing meals?” Do not simply write “yes.” Tell them why you need help. For example: “It hurts to stand long enough to make a meal, so my wife usually prepares them for me.”
Be Specific on Your Claimant Statement
When you provide your response, be sure to use precise language. Do not say, “I cannot sit for a long time.” Instead, say something like, “When I sit for more than 20 minutes, my lower back starts to really hurt, and I have to stand up and move around.” Be specific and quantify your answers accurately. “A long time” means different things to different people.
List Examples to Describe Your Disability
Give examples of ways your disability has limited your activities. For example, “I only take a shower if I know somebody else is home, because I am afraid I will lose consciousness and fall, and no one will be there to help me.” Another example of this would be “I went to the grocery store last week, but I could not finish my shopping because my legs started to hurt too much to continue.”
Avoid Absolute Statements Unless They Are Always True
Unless a situation you are describing is always true, it is best to use general language to describe your situation. General language will include phrases like the following:
- More often than not
- In most cases
It is important to utilize general language when a condition or situation is not definite. Insurance companies often get surveillance footage of people that have filed claims. If an investigator gets footage of you driving for 30 minutes without interruption and they have your written statement saying that you cannot sit for more than 20 minutes, they will likely deny your claim because they believe you are lying.
Overall, you want to refrain from absolute statements like, “I cannot sit for more than 20 minutes.” Instead, use general language and say, “It usually hurts when I sit for more than 20 minutes.”
List All of Your Limitations
Most forms do not include a section to list your limitations that are not physical. If you experience limitations such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory problems and/or irritability, be sure to list them.
Attach Additional Paper If Needed
Do not be afraid to attach additional paper if the space provided for your answers is not sufficient. You can submit an attachment with your forms to fully document your condition.
In general, remember that you are trying to give the person that is deciding your claim a complete picture of your condition. Do not limit your answers simply because there is not enough space provided for them. Always be truthful and thorough and it will help build your case from the very beginning.
Contact Our Long-Term Disability Attorneys
Our long-term disability attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience in handling long term disability claims like yours. If you need help with completing your long-term disability forms or filing a claim, contact our firm today. You can fill out our confidential contact form or call us at (866) 233-5044 for a free initial consultation. Our attorneys help long-term disability insurance claimants throughout the United States.