Why Doctors’ Disability Claims Are More Frequently Denied

The Work of Medical Professionals Is Often Physically Challenging

long-term disability denial

Medical professionals are unique in that they work not only with their minds but also their bodies.  Their jobs are often quite physical, requiring them to squat, lift, push, pull, remain on their feet for hours, and perform tedious surgeries or other operations that require extreme dexterity.  Medical professionals often push their bodies beyond comforts to hold and maintain strained positions, sometimes for hours, for the benefit of their patients.  It is not surprising to see many doctors develop a disability after decades of hard physical and mental work. If suddenly faced with a disabling condition, these professionals may have no other choice but to take a lesser position or actually give up their medical profession altogether.  That would be a difficult situation, but that is the very reason most doctors and other professionals purchase extensive long-term disability (“LTD”) insurance—to protect themselves and their family in the event they find themselves suffering from a total or partial disability and are no longer able to practice medicine.

Medical Professionals' Claims Are Often Delayed or Denied Because They Are Costly

When medical professionals dutifully pay their LTD insurance premiums, often a hefty sum, for years, they do so in reliance on the promise that if they did develop a disability that impacted their ability to work their insurance company would keep their promise and pay them the benefits they deserve.  Unfortunately, it is a dire—but true—fact that insurance companies are not always looking out for their policyholders.  They have pockets, too, and they have incentive to keep as much money as possible in their own pocket.  LTD carriers are often reluctant to approve disability claims filed by doctors and other medical professionals because they are very costly claims. 

When a doctor or other medical professional (as opposed to a non-professional who earns perhaps far less) files a disability claim, LTD carriers dig deep and launch an exhaustive, sometimes invasive, investigation, often with the goal of finding or generating evidence that will allow them to deny the claim.  Carriers frequently resort to exasperating tactics to delay, undervalue, or even deny altogether the claims of medical professionals in hopes their policyholder will eventually tire of their tactics and give up on their right to recover the full amount they are owed. 

What Doctors and Other Professionals Can Do to Protect Their Rights

At Taylor, Warren, Weidner & Hancock, we have helped hundreds of medical and other professionals recover LTD benefits they were initially refused or denied.  From our years of handling LTD claims, we have learned a few tips that we want to make doctors and other professionals aware of to ensure they take the right steps and put themselves in the best position possible for recovery.  Here's what you can do:

  1. Learn your policy's definition of disability;
  2. Understand the difference between your “own occupation” versus “any occupation”;
  3. Recognize the harms of waiting too long to file a LTD claim;
  4. Steps you can take to ensure your medical records support your disability;
  5. Understand the need for vocational evidence; and
  6. Learn the anatomy of a LTD claim and the typical timeline for review, denial, and appeal.

As you are learning more about LTD claims and arming yourself with information on how to protect your rights, you may find you have questions about your policy, your coverage, or perhaps your LTD claim if you have filed a claim or are thinking about filing a claim.  Questions are good.  We love questions.  And, we always answer them with no fee, cost, or obligation required on your part.  We are local attorneys with decades of experience helping doctors like you and other professionals fight back against their insurance companies when their claims are wrongfully delayed or denied.  Let us put our resources and knowledge to work for you.  Contact us for a no cost, no obligation consultation.

Free Consultation

We never charge any fee or cost for an initial consultation to explain your rights. If you’ve been injured in a car accident or have question about an insurance claim, contact us.