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What should I expect when I attend an IME exam requested by my disability insurance company?

Disability attorneys Gregory Dell and Stephen Jessup discuss what a disability claimant can expect when they are asked to attend an independent medical examination requested by their disability insurance company.

Attorneys Dell & Jessup share detailed information that every claimant should be aware of prior to attending an IME exam.

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There are 6 comments

  • LH,

    Your doctor could demand, but I don’t know how much weight will actually be given to same. I would suggest you contact the carrier and advise them that you need transportation to the IME. Most carriers will arrange for same.

    Stephen JessupApr 2, 2015  #6

  • Hello. I have a similar situation as DP in regards to the travel they are requiring for my upcoming IME with an occupational MD. The drive will be anywhere from 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs one way. They claim it is an hr which is what it says when you map quest it but that does not take into consideration traffic which is horrendous in many areas while traveling to the destination. Can my doctor demand that the exam be closer to my home? Thank you for any help you can provide.

    LHApr 1, 2015  #5

  • DP,

    The insurance company must rely on either a nurse or a doctor to make a medical determination on your claim. It is common to see problems develop when a new person gets assigned to your claim. You should not be required to travel a far distance from your home for an IME examination. You should apply for SSDI if you have not already done so. You may find our video on IME exams helpful.

    Gregory DellJun 14, 2012  #4

  • I have been under review for my LTD as June 16 is the two year mark under “own occupation”. I saw my Dr. as requested in Feb. of this year and had her complete the residual capacity form. She stated that I can sit up to 30 minutes at a time, maximum 4 hours per day, stand/walk 15 minutes at a time, maximum 2 hours per day.

    My LTD carrier changed my case manager this week, who now says that he has major concerns with my claim. He said that my Dr.’s report clearly says I can sit 4 hours per day, I have come up with one excuse after another not to attend voc. rehab, and that they have not been able to “monitor” me as I never told them I moved from WA to CA last year. None of this is true as my Dr. clearly states that I cannot sit for more than 30 minutes maximum 4 hours, I have requested voc. rehab many times only to be told I wasn’t a candidate and they knew I lived in CA since a week before I left WA. Their mail has all been addressed here for a year.

    They’re now saying that since I fly to WA to see my Dr. every 4-6 months (I can’t find a doc here to see me and take on the disability/SSDI forms) that they want me to go BACK to WA for an IME within 30 days even though my next appointment is already scheduled for August of this year. According to him if I see a Dr. in WA they consider me living there.

    I’m more than willing to see an IME, voc. rehab, anything to find a way to get back to work but the stress they are putting me through is making me physically ill. Can someone who admittedly has no medical training deny me because my Dr. said I can sit up to 4 hours a day, but have to take breaks every 30 minutes or so to walk/lie down?

    Thank you.

    DPJun 10, 2012  #3

  • Nancy, both of your questions are interesting as it is difficult to document a subjective symptom of pain. Pain medications are suppose to alleviate pain, however there are side effects. When you document your pain it would be important to indicate if you are taking pain medication at the same time. It would also be important to document any side effects of the medication that you may be experiencing. For example, a pain med may alleviate your pain, but you have limited ability to focus or concentrate while taking the medication.

    The pain medication might be (probably does) contributing to my short term memory problems and general brain fog and congnitive problems. How can I state what is part of my condition as compared to what is part of the side effect of the pain meds?

    This is a difficult question to answer. You need to compare how your cognitive difficulties are while on meds versus when you are not taking meds. You should have you physician document all of the pain and cognitive issues that you encounter.

    Gregory DellJan 18, 2011  #2

  • 1. Much of my pain is masked by pain medication. Since the memory of pain is supressed over time (e.g.child birth pain, not recalled in any detail, but boy it was significant), how can I accurately describe the pain? Do I describe it in my medicated state or in my pre-medicated state?

    2. The pain medication might be (probably does) contributing to my short term memory problems and general brain fog and congnitive problems. How can I state what is part of my condition as compared to what is part of the side effect of the pain meds?

    Nancy ButlerJan 14, 2011  #1

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