How to Win Your Long Term Disability Claim | Our Strategy

Disability Wiki.

Disability Claims StrategyWhen you retain Riemer Hess, we will sit down with you and formulate a customized strategy for exiting from work and filing your disability claim.  We listen to your needs and concerns and try to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.  Although every client and claim is different, there are certain strategies we follow for every client.

We control the flow of information.

At the very beginning of the claim, we will inform the insurance company that all communications should be made through us. This enables us to keep track of all information sent to the insurer, and ensures that you will not receive calls from insurance adjusters at odd hours seeking information you are not prepared to give.

We file comprehensive claim applications.  

Application forms are designed for the benefit of the insurance company and often only provide small boxes to fit your answers. This is a trap designed to prevent you from providing adequate information in support of your claim. Our New York disability lawyers will prepare extensive riders to your application so that the application questions can be answered in full. By answering the questions in full, we submit an application that is for your benefit, not for the benefit of the insurance company.

We develop a persuasive narrative. 

Insurers must understand why you are unable to work.  A short statement by your doctor that you are unable to work will be insufficient. Our disability lawyers will spend time analyzing the duties of your job, itemizing your symptoms, and understanding how your symptoms restrict or limit your functional capacity.  We then are in a position to demonstrate why your limitations prevent you from performing the duties of your occupation.  For instance, a simple disability narrative would be: your occupation requires you to sit for 6 hours a day, but you are unable to sit 6 hours per day because of your illness/injury. You are disabled because your illness/injury prevents you from performing a material duty of your occupation (sitting for 6 hours per day). Our disability lawyers can help ensure that you are able to provide all of the information that is necessary for your claim, rather than the minimum required by the insurance company.

Your doctors will need assistance. 

Every disability application requires that a form be completed by your treating doctor(s). Any disability lawyer will tell you that what your doctor says is the most important part of your application. Doctors are experts in treating you. They are not experts in completing forms. Believing that they are helping you, they often give answers that the insurance companies will use against you. We will contact your doctor. We do not put words into your doctor’s mouth, but we will assist your doctor in presenting all necessary information.

You need an exit strategy from work. 

Our clients often come to us while they are still working. Insurers are going to want to know why you could work yesterday, but not today. This must be explained. Our New York disability lawyers will sit down with you and develop a strategy to coordinate when you leave work, what you tell your employer and what you tell the insurance company.

The insurance company interview requires preparation. 

Often insurers ask that you be interviewed over the telephone or in person. We will work closely with you to prepare you for these interviews. Hundreds of our clients have had these interviews. We, therefore, know what the insurer is probably going to ask you. We will help you prepare for their anticipated questions.

IMEs and FCEs require preparation. 

Precautions should be taken when the insurer demands that you submit either to an Independent Medical Examination (IME) or to a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). An FCE is usually a 2-4 hour evaluation conducted by a physical therapist. You will be asked to do certain physical tasks (lift, walk, bend, etc.). The therapist will then attempt to extrapolate from how you did to determine whether you have the physical capacity to do your job. We will sit down with you to help you prepare. The disability lawyers at our firm will negotiate with the insurer to help assure that these examinations and evaluations are reasonable and convenient to you.  We also can arrange for a nurse to be present at the examination or evaluation to record what happens and to keep the insurer honest.

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