• 10 Things To Expect When Your Disability Insurance Company Asks For An IME Exam (Ep. 16)

10 things to expect when your disability insurance company asks for an IME exam

Almost all disability insurance policies provide a disability insurance company with the right to have the insured examined by a physician of their choice. The disability insurance companies can select any physician and a claimant must attend.

These exams are commonly referred to as Independent Medical Exams (“IME EXAM”); however many courts refer to them as Compulsory Medical Exams (“CME EXAM”) since the claimant’s benefits will be denied if they fail to appear.

Disability Insurance Attorneys Gregory Dell and Stephen Jessup discuss what a claimant should expect if asked to attend a CME exam. It’s always best to get an attorney involved if your disability insurance company has requested a CME. Here are some the question that Attorneys Dell and Jessup will discuss in this video:

  1. Is the disability claimant required to attend the CME exam?
  2. How should a disability insurance claimant act at a CME exam?
  3. Are the CME doctors the enemy?
  4. Are the disability insurance companies videotaping the disability claimant at anytime before, during or after the CME exam?
  5. Should a claimant videotape, audiotape or bring an independent witness to the CME exam?
  6. Should a claimant complete paperwork that is presented at the actual CME exam?
  7. Is the CME exam suppose to be a deposition of the claimant?
  8. Does a disability claimant need to complain about everything during a CME exam?
  9. How can a disability claimant get a copy of the CME report completed by the physician following the exam?

Comments (14)

  • Katie, unfortunately, yes it is legal for the disability insurance company to send you to an IME. They use 3rd part vendors to make it seem that there is no conflict of interest in the hiring of the doctor who will perform the IME. Also, under the ERISA laws, the insurance company does not have to provide you with documentation from your claim file until the render a denial of your claim. Also, the authorization you signed for the insurance company likely allowed them to share your info with 3rd party vendors. Regarding the paper pusher, I would need more information. -Alex

    Alex Palamara Aug 2, 2019  #14

  • Is it legal for the disability insurance company to send you for an IME, which is set up through a third party vendor, with paperwork stating the disabled individual will not receive a copy of the report provided by the doctor? Also, is it legal for the disability insurance company to share medical information with the third party vendor when the vendor is not a registered health care provider but just a paper pusher?

    KATIE Aug 2, 2019  #13

  • C: You should contact one of our attorneys to discuss your options.

    Victor Pena Aug 22, 2018  #12

  • I am receiving benefits from my LTD company currently and have been for over 18 mths. I just received a letter stating I need to go to an IME. My workmans Comp claim is still pending thru a different insurance company. Do I get a lawyer now because of their request or wait to see if I get denied for further benefits?

    C. Aug 21, 2018  #11

  • M,

    Typically an insurance company will only send you to one doctor for a particular specialty. Who is your carrier? Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your appeal and claim further.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 30, 2015  #10

  • I was put off from work ar the end of May 2014. In July 2014 I applied for SSD all at same time of receiving Short Term. In Dec 2014 I received letter from Social security that I was eligible for benefits. My short term ended and LTD was started. I got check for the first 6 months. Then it was time for a review and it was denied, I did an appeal and now they are sending me for 2 different Rehmatology appointments one is 2hrs the other is almost 4 hours away. My major dx is SLE Lupus, Sjogrens, Raynauds, Osteo Arthritis, Fibro, Anixery, Depression, Hx of herniated and buldging disc. My question is why two different docs??

    M Sep 29, 2015  #9

  • Michele,

    Was the IME for a long term disability insurance claim or a Worker’s Compensation claim? If it is for the former you will have to complete the administrative appeal process – please feel free to contact our office to discuss same. If it is the latter you will need to consult with a Worker’s Compensation attorney – we can also assist you in trying to find one in your area.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 11, 2015  #8

  • Was sent for an IME by Liberty Mutual after being on Workers Comp. for 5 years. I drove 45 minute to see their doctor. I didn’t have to fill out any paperwork and I was in with him for about 5 minutes. He asked me about 20 questions and then had me bend right, left, back and forth. And that was it. I have now been denied benefits. I have never in 5 years stopped treatment or changed treatment. What can I do?

    Michele Aug 10, 2015  #7

  • Mrs. May,

    Is Reliance Standard still issuing your benefit? Unfortunately, the letter you received advising benefits will continue to the maximum benefit period (age 67 in your case) is more a notice as to the potential benefit period and usually contains some type of language that indicates “should you remain disabled under the terms and conditions of the policy.” Disability benefits are never guaranteed and a review for continued benefits could be as frequent as monthly. If Reliance Standard does look to deny your claim please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 13, 2014  #6

  • Your video is very informative; however I had no choice but to complete a book of forms at my IME.

    I have a claim with Reliance Standard. My LTD benefits have been in effect for almost 5 years and I was given notice by Reliance, in writing, over two years ago that my benefits would continue until I reached age 67 as they realized I would not be able to go back to work on any consistent basis. However, I still had to comply with annual medical reviews which had gone smoothly, as my condition has not improved, until this year.

    Then this fall after sending in my annual medical records Reliance then notified me that they were sending my records for a independent “review”. I followed up a month later and was then told I would be hearing from the Dr. to schedule my exam. Surprise, you’re being required to go to an IME.

    So I recently went to an IME ordered by Reliance Standard. I took someone with me who video taped the entire visit. However, based on the video I watched before the IME, I did initially refuse to fill out the paperwork requested by the IME when I arrived. I was told that if I did not complete the paperwork the appointment would be cancelled and I would be considered to have been in non-compliance with the ordered IME.

    So being backed into a corner I had no choice but to fill out the paperwork. What other choice does a person have and believe me they, the IME office and your disability carrier, know that.

    All this after having in writing my benefits would continue to age 67. Apparently nothing they put in writing is worth the ink it’s written with.

    There really should be some true legal recourse. My annual review has now been going on for 3 months and I still have no answer about my benefits. Would be nice if the courts realized that the loss of these benefits can mean the difference between having a roof over your head vs. living in your car.

    Mrs. May Dec 12, 2014  #5

  • Wayne,

    If your policy is governed by ERISA, you will be required to file an administrative appeal prior to being able to file a lawsuit. Please contact our office to discuss how we can possibly assist you in appealing the denial of your claim.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 30, 2014  #4

  • I, like the other claimants, have been through the grinder with Reliance Standard. I was approved for SSDI @ 2 years after filing with the advocator group and went for a IME at Reliance Standard’s request. 30 days later I was denied benefits. I have not received my denial letter yet but loosing my income will be devastating and I will loose my house. Can you suggest what I can do?

    Wayne Aug 29, 2014  #3

  • Pam,

    In order for us to determine if we can help you we would need to review the denial letter that Liberty Mutual sent you. You only have 180 days to appeal the disability denial so it is important that you take action quickly. Once we receive your denial letter and a copy of your Liberty Mutual Policy we will be able to let you know immediately if we can assist you.

    Gregory Dell Feb 19, 2011  #2

  • Thanks for the above video but wish I had seen it before I had my IME appt. As always I am too trusting & should have checked this out before I went to the IME dr. Now I have been turned down by Liberty Mutual due to the IME physician’s report & all my benefits have stopped. I am 59 female have had 3 major back surgeries include 2 were fusion last one 3/9/10. I have been on ltd with them since 6/11/10. Now I am without income & no way I can work in my condition. I have already filed for social security disability but that is still pending & could take another year.

    Pam Anderson Feb 18, 2011  #1

Leave a comment or ask us a question

Questions About Hiring Us

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Meg N., MD

Working with Dell & Schaefer has been a consistently positive experience. My life changed precipitously as well as my career and ability to support my family. Over time, discussing simple issues with my disability insurer became more and more difficult. I reached a point of frustration one late afternoon from the west coast and decided to call and leave a message for the next day. Greg Dell actually picked up the phone ( it was 730 P his time) and was enormously helpful and thoughtful. That same thorough care has occurred in my ongoing relationship with Cesar Gavidia over the last 6+ years. He is organized, knowledgeable and accomplishes what needs to get done.

Most importantly, but still surprisingly, he has been incredibly thoughtful, kind and empathetic – all nice perks for those going through the torment of disability. I have come a long way in my ability to cope but knowing that I did not have to keep dealing and being demeaned with my disability insurer has meant the world. I know this seems overly enthusiastic, but it is all true.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

Speak With An Attorney Now

Request a free legal consultation: Call 800-682-8331 or Email Us