If you have an individual or group long term disability policy with Standard, you may assume that accessing these disability insurance benefits will be as easy as filling out the claim form and providing a release for your medical records. But regardless of which insurance carrier holds your policy, the disability process is rarely so simple. The below tips and guidance can help you avoid problems with your Standard long term disability insurance claim.
Strong and detailed documentation of your symptoms, restrictions, and limitations must be in your medical records
For many disability claimants, visits to the doctors or specialists can seem fruitless – especially when you’re dealing with a chronic condition that isn’t going to be “cured,” only managed over time. But in the disability claims context, it’s crucial to visit the doctor on a regular basis, as this is the only way to generate the up-to-date medical records you’ll need to prove that you’re entitled to long term disability benefits. Your claim is only as strong as it appears on paper, and if your medical records from the months or years preceding your claim for benefits are sparse or non-existent, Standard may deny your disability insurance claim for lack of evidence.
Keeping a pain or symptom journal and sharing the data with your doctors is very helpful
You can supplement these medical records with other contemporaneous records, like a daily pain journal, photographs, or a symptom journal. Providing this information to your doctor can ensure that your medical records are as complete as possible.
The Attending Physician statement requested by Standard does not usually provide sufficient space for your doctor to properly document your restrictions and limitations
Another crucial component of your disability insurance claim is the attending physician’s statement. This is essentially a narrative statement that informs Standard about the extent of your disability, the limitations you’re dealing with, and what types of activities you can or can’t perform. Standard will take this information, along with your medical records, claim forms, and internally-generated documents, and determine whether you’ve proven your entitlement to disability benefits.
This means that an incomplete or cursory attending physician’s statement could cause your disability insurance claim to be rejected. But doctors are busy, and many can feel frustrated or stymied by the amount of paperwork that comes with assisting in a long term disability claim. This is where your attorney comes in. At Dell & Schaefer, we handle every aspect of the disability claims process and can assist in preparing the claim forms, physician’s statements, and other documents that Standard will consider when approving or denying a claim for benefits. What’s more, our experienced attorneys have dealt with Standard hundreds of times before and know how their processes work, what they’re looking for, and what you’ll need to provide to receive your claim approval letter.
Always be honest about your activities and don’t exaggerate your symptoms
The quickest way to have your claim for disability insurance benefits denied (or to have your benefits terminated after approval) is to be caught exaggerating your symptoms. Standard consistently monitors its claimants through video surveillance and social media monitoring, and stretching the truth is unlikely to go unnoticed.
Always be cautious with social media posting and know that you, your family, and friends’ social media profiles will constantly be checked by Standard
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of Standard’s typical video surveillance has given way to social media surveillance. But Standard doesn’t just watch the claimant’s profile; it also may monitor the profiles of other household members, close friends, and family members. This means that tagged pictures, check-ins, and other posts that may not appear on your timeline can still be used against you. This is yet another reason it’s crucial not to exaggerate your symptoms or limitations, as your friends’ and family members’ social media profiles may show the truth.
If you’re considering applying for benefits, wish to appeal Standard’s denial of disability benefits, or just want more information about your disability insurance benefit claim options, the experienced disability insurance attorneys at Dell & Schaefer can help. Give us a call to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team.