Medical opinions are one of the strongest supports towards a total disability claim, however, the process of getting them is not often as simple as it should be. Medical practitioners are often busy, and their services can be costly, creating a barrier to getting their opinion for your claim.
If you are able to access a medical opinion, they can add a great deal of weight to your claim, and they can be fairly simple to access. In general, you can just make the request to your medical practitioner, and they will let you know if they are willing to provide one.
Before approaching any medical practitioner for support in a disability claim, you should ensure that they are aware of four things:
- The definition of disability under your policy;
- The functional limitations you are claiming;
- Your education, training, and experience; and
- Your pre-disability occupation.
Without the practitioner knowing any of this information, it may be difficult for them to provide a strong opinion on how disability is impacting your life.
Can My Family Doctor Help?
Yes, your family doctor can provide an opinion for your disability claim! One of the most important sources of medical support for a disability claim is your family doctor because they tend to have knowledge of your medical history and are well versed in your medical needs.
Family doctors can:
- Provide a letter on how disability is impacting your life/work;
- Recommend and order tests which will support your claims;
- Interpret the results of medical tests;
- Refer you to specialists; and
- Provide information on your medical history.
What Should My Family Doctor Put in a Letter?
First and foremost, you will want your doctor to include their formal diagnosis as well as onset date of your disability. If your disability is in relation to an accident, you want your doctor to address this connection.
Other helpful information your doctor can provide includes:
- Opinions on your symptoms and how these relate to your job duties;
- A summary of the medical evidence that supports their opinion on your condition;
- Diagnostic procedures and treatments you have undergone; and
- The outlook for your condition including potential for improvement or worsening.
What if My Family Doctor Does Not Want to Help?
If your doctor says they do not want to provide an opinion, the first thing you should do is find out why. Common reasons doctors will decline to provide an opinion include:
- Not knowing about the process and what will be required of them;
- Being worried that it will take up too much of their time;
- Being worried about being properly compensated for their time; and
- Not thinking that you have symptoms which are totally disabling.
While there may not be much you can do if your doctor does not believe that you have a legitimate disability, there are solutions to the other examples.
With some knowledge of what is required for your disability claim, you can inform your doctor of exactly what will be required of them and rough estimates of how much work will be required on their part.
If you do not know much about making a disability claim, you may want to consider speaking to a personal injury lawyer who is knowledgeable in the area. A good lawyer can help address your doctor’s concerns, and even provide compensation for their work in the meantime.
What if I Do Not Have a Family Doctor?
If you do not have a doctor or they are unwilling to help you with your claim, you still have options:
- You can go to a walk-in clinic and ask for a referral to speak to a specialist. A specialist may be able to provide you a medical opinion, however it may get expensive.
- You can go to another treatment professional such as your physiotherapist or massage therapist.
If you are worried about being unable to access the medical support you believe is required for your claim, you may want to speak to a lawyer. They can provide you with details on how strong your claim is, and help you get access to the support necessary to strengthen it.
How Can NOVA Injury Help?
At NOVA Injury Law we will act on your behalf to advocate for you in your disability claim.
The whole idea behind a disability claim is to ensure you are provided compensation for your disability – and this is a wide-ranging task with unique facts in each case. To learn more about NOVA Injury Law’s approach to protecting disability claims, contact us now to book your free Case Review. During the free Case Review process, we will give you our honest opinion about your case, how much your disability claim might be worth, and what you should consider as your next steps.
If you are in need of legal advice or representation for your disability claim in Halifax, Nova Scotia, or anywhere in Atlantic Canada, our personal injury lawyers are here to help. Contact us today and tell us more about your claim – we are here to help!