If a disability is keeping you from working, but you are having problems pursuing benefits from an employer-provided coverage plan, you are not alone. Many people struggle with the process of gaining eligibility for ERISA-governed benefits. Here are a few tips that can help you improve your chances of success.
Be open with your doctor
Some people are reluctant to complain, even when they suffer from a life-altering disability. The doctor’s office is one place where you must be 100 percent open about your suffering. If you neglect to inform your physician about pain, discomfort and limitations brought about by your disability, it leads to two problems:
- Your doctor cannot help you if he or she does not know specifically how you are suffering
- You must have documented medical evidence to successfully pursue a long-term disability claim
By being forthright and thorough in every communication you have with your doctor and with other medical professionals, you can obtain the treatment and the documentation you need.
Expect that a meticulous insurance investigator will be poring over every symptom you describe, every limitation you claim, and comparing what you report with what you tell your doctor. If there are inconsistencies, the insurance company may seize upon them to purport that you are not telling the whole truth about your disability. Be mindful about what you say and report the facts accurately to give yourself the best possible chance of obtaining the benefits you need.
Be mindful of your lifestyle
The activities you take part in outside of work must be consistent with the limitations your disability places on you. For instance, if your condition prevents you from typing, but you are seen pecking away at your laptop at a coffee shop, it sends the wrong message.
Pain and discomfort are not always consistent, of course, so it is understandable that you can do something for a short period of time, even if you can’t do it for a living. However, you don’t want to give the insurance company ammunition for denying your claim. Remember your limitations and resist the temptation to stretch them.