How to Get the Most Out of a Disability Claim

Filing a disability claim can be a long and challenging process. Not only were you injured or traumatized, resulting in your inability to continue your regular work and lifestyle, but you also need to participate in a complicated legal process. This experience can be overwhelming and leave you feeling like you are under scrutiny; as if you are the one being judged. You’re not alone, nearly four million Canadians have reported either a short-term or long-term disability and have gone through the arduous process of filing their claim.

There are things that you can do before filing and throughout the process to keep things running smoothly and to increase the likelihood that you will receive appropriate payment for your medical requirements and the replacement of your income. The following points will explain in detail the things you need to keep in mind if you are claiming or appealing a previously denied claim for disability. As with any legal information found online, it is important to note that every case is different, and because of this, any and all information you encounter should be taken with a grain of salt. Always consult a legal professional about your particular situation and needs.

Understand Your Insurance Policy

To begin with, you must understand your insurance policy while you are filing a disability claim. Within your insurance policy, you have rights and you have responsibilities. Many people are uncomfortable claiming disability as it feels like a public admission of their struggles. It can bring up feelings of inadequacy, shame, or frustration. If you’re experiencing something like this, it’s important to remember that filing the claim is one of your rights and you are entitled to proper compensation. You have been paying taxes and premiums; now you can demand your due return.  

This being said, the struggles you are undergoing are not your fault, and if you take some time to understand your insurance policy as well as your rights and responsibilities under the law, you may find yourself eased. Your current situation is the reason that you have insurance in the first place. You do not need to feel guilty about using it.

Collect And Keep A Copy Of All Of Your Medical Records

This one nearly goes without saying. Keep as many details as possible regarding your medical treatment. Make sure to note down the dates and times of all your appointments along with the medical records and doctors’ reports. You can speak to your doctor about this or request a copy of your medical records through a medical record company within Canada. This may not be something that can be accomplished the day you walk in or call.

You should be prepared for this to take a few business days at least, so put in the request well before it might be needed. Also, don’t just rely on paper records; get a soft copy and upload it on a few platforms—a Dropbox account, the cloud, or even a private album in your social media accounts. This way, you have a backup in case you lose the hard copies or they get damaged in storage. 

Interact With Your Doctor Correctly

When you are filing for disability, you need to prove that you have been damaged or injured in a way that prevents you from continuing to work as you did before the harm occurred. You will need the support of a doctor, somewhere along the line. This means you should be showing up to all of the appointments that have been made for you and following the treatment plan laid out by your doctor. This also means being forthright with your doctor about any symptoms, even if they feel unrelated or you think you sound like you’re complaining. You must help your doctor gather all the information available so that he or she can fully address your situation. There are types of injuries that have very odd initial symptoms that can later turn out to be quite serious. If there is anything at all going on with you outside of the usual, be sure to bring it up with your healthcare provider.

At times, it might seem like the doctor or their assistant is getting irritated or dismissive of your symptoms and other details. This doesn’t mean that you should stop bringing up every single thing that might be a health concern. If the medical practitioner assigned to you is not making you feel comfortable or heard, it might be time to request a change.

Appropriate Social Media Management

This one tends to surprise people. You need to make sure that your social media and online presence are not misrepresenting you and your disability to the public. Many insurance companies task investigators with monitoring your personal social media pages for evidence that your disability claim is fraudulent, so it’s important you keep your pages private or limit the amount of personal information you post online says David Preszler with In our digital age, this can often be difficult for people as so much of our lives are now shared with others. Make sure that anything other people can find about you online does not paint you or your claim in a bad light.

Keep A Journal

Not only could this help you out during medical treatment as you’ll be able to note what things are helping and what things are hurting, but keeping a journal of your injuries can help you provide detailed information that may otherwise have been forgotten throughout a busy day. Note down all appointments, how you’re feeling, your pain on a scale, and whether or not you feel improvements. You might also want to include photographs if there are visible physical changes.

Keep A Journal

This will help you keep all the information straight in your mind and will make sure that you are more helpful to your attorney. Beyond being useful in regards to your claim and medical treatment, numerous studies have found that keeping a journal increases emotional wellbeing significantly. Give everything that you’ve gone through and are going through now, this might be something you find emotionally supportive.

If you’re writing your journal online, be sure to back it up as frequently as possible. Writing by hand might be more helpful and cathartic, but losing your journal can cause problems later on. In such cases, you may want to take pictures of your written pages and upload them somewhere safe on a daily basis. Like your medical records, it’s best to ensure that your personal updates are in a secure place. 

Interact With Your Attorney Correctly

Whatever your attorney has requested from you, it is ideal that you get this information or evidence to him or her as soon as possible. This will help prevent any delays. A professional and experienced attorney will likely have an idea of how the insurance company is going to go about evaluating your claim and so will have an idea of what information you need to provide front and center to remove any doubt the company may have.

Before each meeting with your attorney, make a list of questions that you want to ask them. If you feel comfortable about posting your problem online (perhaps using a pseudonym), you can use social media platforms to get some insight into the situation. Someone who’s had a similar experience with disability claims will probably be able to guide you about what to ask your attorney, what rights you might have, and so on.

With the above things kept in mind, you are well on your way to making your disability claim process as streamlined as possible. Even with the above tips, this process might take some time. It can be stressful and frustrating at times, and if you feel like you cannot cope with the pressure of it all in addition to your injury and inability to work, you should reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or professional.