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Posted on Saturday, May 4th, 2024 at 9:00 am    

Can a Doctor Refuse to Fill Out Disability Forms_ Image

When you’re facing a disabling medical condition that prevents you from working, you’ll need your doctor’s support to get approved for disability benefits. But what happens if your doctor refuses to fill out your disability forms? Can a doctor legally refuse to complete the paperwork you need for your disability claim?

The short answer is yes; a doctor can refuse to fill out disability forms. No law requires doctors to complete disability paperwork on behalf of their patients. However, many doctors will agree to help if you approach the situation professionally and respectfully.

What Do I Need From My Doctor to Apply for Disability?

To get approved for long-term disability (LTD) insurance benefits, you’ll need to submit evidence showing that your medical condition prevents you from working. The insurance company will want to see proof of your diagnosis, your symptoms, your functional limitations, your treatment plan, and your long-term prognosis. Much of this essential information must come directly from your medical provider.

Most LTD insurance companies will require your doctor to complete an Attending Physician’s Statement (APS) form. This multi-page form requests detailed information about your disabling condition. Only your doctor or medical provider can fill it out. The insurance company must have this form before they decide on your claim.

Additionally, your doctor’s support will go a long way in convincing the insurance company that your disability claim is valid. The more detailed your medical records are about your disabling condition and the limitations it causes, the better. Asking your doctor to write a custom letter of support or a narrative report on your behalf is also advisable. These additional documents allow your doctor to advocate for you and explain why you cannot perform your occupational duties.

Do Doctors Have to Fill Out Disability Paperwork?

Doctors are not obligated to fill out disability forms for patients. Some doctors may refuse, while others will begrudgingly complete the bare minimum. Why are some doctors hesitant to help with disability paperwork? Filling out disability forms is time-consuming for physicians. The APS form can be ten pages long or more. Doctors don’t get paid for the time they spend on paperwork.

Additionally, some physicians are wary about filling out disability paperwork because they may have to testify in court if the disability case is denied and the applicant files a lawsuit against the insurance company. This could require the doctor to take time away from their practice.

Others may avoid disability paperwork because they believe, often mistakenly, that going on disability will worsen their patient’s medical problems or that returning to work would be better for their health.

Even so, your doctor has an ethical obligation to fulfill his duties as your treating physician. Those duties include completing essential insurance paperwork on your behalf. If your doctor refuses to complete your disability forms, you can remind him of the Hippocratic Oath and his responsibility to act in your best interests. Be polite yet firm in insisting that he fill out the paperwork so you can get the financial support you need while out of work.

How Do I Get My Doctor to Fill Out Disability Forms?

What’s the best way to get your doctor to complete your disability paperwork? First, make the process as easy as possible for your doctor. Obtain the forms well before the deadline and bring them to your next appointment. Fill out all portions of the paperwork that don’t require a physician’s input. You can even type up some of your medical history and a description of your job duties to provide a starting point.

During your appointment, briefly summarize the purpose of each form for your doctor and what is being asked. Politely request that the forms be filled out within a week or two. Offer to pay any reasonable fee the office charges for completing paperwork. After the appointment, follow up with the doctor’s medical assistant or nurse. The physician may delegate the responsibility of completing the forms to a staff member.

My Doctor Won’t Fill Out My Disability Forms

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But what if your doctor still refuses to fill out your disability forms? If your doctor won’t complete your long-term disability paperwork, you may need to find a new physician who will. Get a copy of your medical file from your current doctor’s office. Then, start a relationship with a new provider who can complete the paperwork for your LTD claim.

Get a Skilled Lawyer from Capitan Law on Your Side

When your health is suffering and you’re unable to earn an income, your LTD benefits are likely your financial lifeline. An unsupportive doctor should not stand in the way of the benefits you deserve. Be persistent in advocating for yourself.

Better yet, enlist the help of an experienced long-term disability attorney. The legal team at Capitan Law focuses exclusively on long-term disability insurance claims and fights for the rights of disabled individuals. If your doctor refuses to complete essential paperwork for your disability claim, contact us online or call us for a free consultation at (267) 419-7888 to discuss your options.


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