Although there are many, many physicians who go out of their way to advocate for their patients and spend hours filling out paperwork they generally don’t get paid for, there are also physicians who view disability certification as a waste of their valuable time. Here are some of the reasons.
- Physicians are learning more and more that private disability insurance companies misrepresent medical information above and beyond what is officially recommended by them. A “they don’t listen to me anyway”, attitude is building to the point that physicians are reluctant to get involved at all.
- Physicians spend up to 30% of their office time filling out disability paperwork of some kind – SSDI, Worker’s Compensation, and Private Disability. For most, they don’t get paid for their time and, in reality, physicians really don’t want to spend time doing it.
- Not all physicians are willing to share with you that they really think you can work. Although most physicians want to be helpful, of course they would not want to be involved in certifying disability if they didn’t believe what they were signing. If your physician balks about signing paperwork it could be he/she is reluctant to sign-off on a medical condition he really hasn’t tested or diagnosed.
- Physicians do not want to testify in court and when it becomes obvious they may have to, suggestions are made to find “another physician.”
- Surgeons and pain management physicians are infamous for not filling out paperwork. They see their role as pre-op, surgery, post-op, and then send patients packing. As a general rule, claimants shouldn’t depend on surgeons for continued support of disability.
- Physicians find themselves intimidated by insurance physicians who call on the phone, and/or claims representatives who continuously request the same information over and over again.
Although physicians have a very important and urgent role in the private disability claims process, as more and more insurers disregard logical medical assessments and recommendations, physicians are less likely to spend time on what appears to be a useless waste of time. Physicians who remain loyal to their patients and do their best to help them should be thanked with a box of Christmas cookies this year.
How likely is it that Unum is overturning denials on appeal?
Not likely at all. Word is out that Unum is not overturning denials on appeal very often. At this time of the year it’s not likely that any insurance company is willing to re-open financial reserves that offset profit figures. Appeals have the best chance after the first of the year. Other insurers are delaying appeal decisions beyond what is considered to be reasonable, and in my opinion, none of the insurers are meeting ERISA timelines at all. Insurers just don’t seem all that concerned anymore about meeting any type of deadlines in the claims or appeal process.
Can I resign and still collect disability?
No one should be resigning from their employment until they’ve read my post on resignations. Resignations say, “I quit”, and that’s not what disability claims are. Please read my post on resignations before you actually sign one.
Does Unum engage in wrongful termination?
“Wrongful termination” is a characteristic of Unum Group that it holds very carefully. A Unum employee can be terminated for any reason at any time, and has been known to engage in age, health, gender and social unattractiveness discrimination. Any Unum employee who can prove unfair termination should immediately contact an employment attorney and file a lawsuit. In the last decade Unum has been striving for a much younger workforce and has frequent firings to rid the company of older employees who think outside the box. Employees with health issues are also terminated on a regular basis.
Working for Unum is like walking a mine field.