To get help with an Indiana disability insurance claim or appeal, contact an experienced team of attorneys who have devoted their legal careers to helping disability insurance claimants. Frankel & Newfield is focused on helping individuals with private and ERISA disability policy issues and can help at every stage of a claim.
Indiana, which straddles the Midwest and the Great Lakes region of America, is known by racing enthusiasts around the world for the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 motorsports races. The University of Notre Dame, Purdue and Indiana University are highly ranked universities and popular with out of state students as well as Indiana residents. Indiana has a diverse economy, with such large companies as Eli Lilly and Mead Johnson Nutritionals.
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Indiana policyholders who have filed a claim for disability benefits are often a little surprised when they learn that in addition to an Independent Medical Exam (IME), they receive a request to undergo a Functional Capacity Evaluation, also known as an FCE. We represent many policy holders when they have received this request, and it is a major issue for many of our clients. An FCE is an intensive evaluation. No one who is disabled should agree to undergo such a test without first speaking with an experienced disability lawyer and their primary care physician.
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the FCE. Originally designed as a measure of maximal performance, we feel that it is completely inappropriate for anyone suffering from a disability. If you are a healthy person, performing the maximum of your job performance is not an issue. But if you are injured so badly that you cannot work, asking a patient to push to the max is not only foolish, it is downright risky.
When individuals are asked to perform a task by a person in authority, like a doctor, there is a natural tendency to want to perform the task to the best of one’s ability. The FCE usually consists of a number of tasks that are designed to objectively measure maximum capabilities in terms of muscular and skeletal strength, tolerance of certain positions, mobility, coordination, large and small motor skills (depending on the occupation), balance and endurance.
Today many FCEs are conducted using sophisticated computer systems which are designed to measure optimal performance. We feel that this adds yet another dimension of risk and error. If the person running the computer does not put in the correct information, or if there is a glitch of any kind, the potential for danger is increased. We all know that computers have software and hardware malfunctions, but we would not want our body to be harmed by a computer that needs to be reprogrammed.
There have been many peer reviewed articles published in the Physical Therapy journals that evaluate and explore the FCE, its reliability and value in measuring objective performance. The reports are a mixed bag.
Finally, not all disability insurance contracts contain a requirement for the claimant to undergo an FCE. Unless the FCE is specifically identified in the contract and is required, you may not be contractually obligated to have one. Contact an experience disability attorney to be sure, before you make an appointment.Ready To Talk?
Jason Newfield is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield. He has spent the majority of his legal career advocating for the rights of disabled workers. He has lectured other professionals, worked on a Federal Advisory committee, and published many articles in the field of disability insurance claims and litigation.
FILING A DISABILITY INSURANCE CLAIMSecrets the Disability Insurance Companies Don't Want You to know!
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