What Chiropractors Should Know About Individual and Long-Term Disability Policies
Back injuries are one of the most common types of ailments happening in the workplace. People who work in warehouses, people who work in retail shops and even people sitting at a desk all day can have difficulty and trouble with their backs. Lumbar issues are so prevalent that the cost for treatment and surgery can be astronomical. In a recent study, patients suffering from musculoskeletal conditions incur medical costs of about $240 billion per year in the United States alone.
However, making a disability insurance claim on a back injury isn’t easy even when your chiropractor agrees with his/her patient that there is a disabling problem, it might not be enough for a disability insurance company.
People with back injuries often go to a chiropractor and/or massage therapist for help. Often these professionals will spend time assessing the nature of the back injury, the person’s history of back pain and limitations and other physical problems precluding work. Chiropractors spend years attending school and honing their craft to learn about the various types of trauma, occurring in a patient’s muscles, ligaments and spine.
However, while an injured and disabled worker seeks out a chiropractor for help with back pain, filing a disability claim based upon that doctor’s recommendation can be extremely difficult. Unfortunately, Social Security still does not recognize chiropractors as legitimate sources of medical treatment and medical opinions. If an individual does make a social security claim, when the assigned disability examiner who makes decisions on initial disability applications makes a ruling, that person does not need to consider the opinions of chiropractors when deciding if a disability applicant has a severe medically determinable impairment.
How Chiropractors Can Help Their Patients with Disability Insurance
There is no question that chiropractors help people by manipulating and adjusting their spine. Insurance companies of all types create various hoops for people to jump through, and some health insurance companies even employ their own doctors so they can deny claims across the country.
If someone with legitimate, serious back pain comes into a chiropractor’s office, these are the best steps to help assure any disability claim is given the best opportunity for approval:
-Take meticulous notes – Any insurance company that does review a doctor’s notes will want them to be as thorough as possible. Including but not limited to- the onset date of the pain, restrictions and limitations, therapy or treatments that tried and failed, medications that tried and failed.
-Connect with other doctors – Disability insurance companies will accept the word of other types of doctors, so connecting with a trusted doctor you can refer a patient to would be hugely beneficial to your patients. Physical medicine, orthodontists, neurosurgeons are all great second opinion resources.
-Learn more from disability insurance lawyer – Frank N. Darras, Founding Partner of DarrasLaw, Americas Top Disability Firm works with medical professionals on a regular basis helping them navigate the world of disability insurance claims to best help their patients get the disability benefits they paid for.
Mr. Darras regularly talks to medical professionals, including chiropractors, who need help understanding how disability insurance claims work in their state. He also can share valuable insight on proper medical charting, objectifying your patient’s injury or sickness on your exams and office testing.
If you’d like to schedule time to talk to a long-term disability insurance attorney, contact our offices immediately. You don’t have to go through the disability claim application process with your patient alone. To schedule a completely free policy analysis and free claim consultation with one of DarrasLaw’s nationally renowned disability insurance attorneys, call us at (800) 898-7299 or contact us online.