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Delayed and Denied Claims: Article on Disability Claims in Podiatry Management

The April/May 2017 issue of Podiatry Management featured an extensive article by Justin Frankel and Jason Newfield, “Delayed and Denied: When the Unexpected Happens, Here’s what you need to know to file a claim for disability insurance benefits.”

This information is particularly important for podiatrists, who spend countless hours leaning over patients, exerting precise repetitive motions in a very small physical space. While patient’s toes and feet are maintained in excellent condition as the result of their podiatrist’s care, the doctors themselves often suffer from the physical stresses of decades of repetitive motions and static positioning.

Podiatrists are used to having their offices deal with health insurance claims, and are often surprised when their own disability insurance claims are denied or delayed. They expected their disability insurance claim to be processed in much the same way as health or home insurance claims, but that is not the case with disability insurance claims.

The article takes the reader through the key pitfalls of disability claims, including a close look at the inherent conflict in the structure of disability claims: “How can the insurance company be completely objective and fair about evaluating a claim when it has to reach into its own pockets to pay disability benefits?”

And this is not the only built-in conflict of interest in the disability claims.

A second built-in conflict exists because the doctor who is either examining the claimant in person or conducting a paper review of the claimant’s medical records is paid by the insurance company. How can a doctor on the insurance company’s payroll be objective when their decision could make the difference between the insurance company’s having to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars (or even millions of dollars, over the life of the claim) or denying a claim?

Podiatrists and other professionals who have a better understanding of the disability claims process are better equipped to address their disability claim and to comprehend why they may need help from an experienced disability insurance law firm. As the final sentence of the article states, “The stakes are too high to treat this lightly.”

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