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When should a disability claimant suspect that their disability insurance company is doing video surveillance?

  • Video Surveillance FAQ #3

When do you guys think that a disability claimant should be most concerned that they are going to go under video surveillance? And something that comes to my mind right of the bat which I see a lot, is, if a claimant is asked to submit for an independent medical exam or functional capacity exam, I see tons of times that they will do disability video surveillance either couple days or couple weeks before the day of the IME exam, they will sit there outside in the parking lot, they will follow them from their house to the IME to after and a couple days after, they’ll continue. Is there some other situations when you tend to see that the company is conducting video surveillance?

Since I have a lot of the administrative appeals under ERISA on the group policies, I usually see that if there is a own occupation, any occupation switch coming up, right before that period’s coming, usually within 6 months, if there has been a denial and I see the claim file, that surveillance is done within about 6 to 8 months prior to that switch of any occupation because now they are going to take a look at it, it is going to be a little more easier for them to deny it, I have always seen that happen again and again in the ERISA appeals.

And another thing that’s important is that, the surveillance video isn’t just the insurance company looking at the video, they are not going to be the only ones. If their case goes to a lawsuit, the judges can review the video surveillance. So they are going to watch the DVDs and come to their own conclusion bases on these videos too or the jury too.

Other times, when I see video surveillance frequently is immediately after calling the disability insurance carrier and says “I have filed for long term disability insurance” and the carrier looks at the claim and they want to try to get them right then and there to see if there is any evidence right from the beginning to show that this person may not be telling us the truth about their claims. And also, what’s important to know too, is, people maybe watching and thinking, listen, I don’t have a back problem, I have a neck problem, it’s not a physical problem. They are even doing it on the mental health claims. If you are saying you have mental health problems, depression – we have seen video surveillance where the will show that the person is sitting and socializing and they say – you seem to be happy, you seem to be doing alright, well adjusted. So no matter what type of disability you are alleging, there is a good chance that the disability insurance company will still put you under surveillance.

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