Mistake 7 – Restrictions and Limitations – Walking | Clearwater Long Term Disability Lawyer

I suggest that when you are rating your restrictions and limitations you use a scale of 1 to 10. Zero is no pain and 10 is excruciating pain that will send you to the emergency room.

This would be where I would start, but you need to come up with your own scale. This scale may be based on your level of pain, your functionality, or your need to take medication. Just make sure that you explain the scale and write it down.

With that in mind, you will be asked about your walking activity:

How much can you walk?

How far can you walk at one time?

How far or how much can you walk before your pain level increases?

How does your pain level increase?

What happens to you when you walk too far?

How much walking do you do in the course of the day taking care of your activities like taking children to school, going to the grocery store, or the doctor’s appointments?

Do you have to schedule you are walking and spread over several days?

Can you walk the mall? How far?

How often do you have to sit down when you take a walk?

Do you walk with a limp? How frequently?

Do you need a cane? Or any other assistive device while walking?

When you go grocery shopping, do you use the cart to help you walk?

Do you carry things when you walk? If so, how much does the object weigh?

Do you have good days and bad days as a result of your walking?

It is important that you think about these questions and your answers so that you can explain what you can and cannot do. You must explain how your activities are impacted by your pain and medications. You must explain good days and bad days.

And, you must never say “NEVER!” “I never walk, I never walk more than a block, I never…” I promise you that the long-term disability carrier/ERISA carrier will have a picture of you doing what you said you never did.

And, you must never say “ALWAYS!” ” I always use a cane, I always walk with a limp, I always…” I promise you that the long-term disability/carrier/ERISA carrier will have a picture of you not doing what you said always did.

Be prepared to answer questions at the continuing disability statement about your walking by being prepared by disability benefits attorney like Nancy Cavey, who can be reached at www.caveylaw.com.

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Mistake 5 – Questions About Your Treatment and Medications | Tampa Long Term Disability Attorney

Long term disability adjusters and investigators can read. They know what is in your medical reports and they know what you have said on your Activities of Daily Living forms they ask you to complete every month.

Yet, you will be asked questions about your treatment and medications. I hope that you have a copy of your medical records and that you review them.

If asked about your treatment, politely tell them to review your records. What they’re after is information from you about how your condition has progressed, changed, been impacted by treatment, including medication, and how you are doing generally.

You must show objective evidence of your disability. If you are not recuperating fast enough, the long-term disability carrier is going to refer to statements you made about your condition and argue that your doctor is relying on your subject of complaints to prolong your disability.

The long-term disability carrier’s doctor, who probably no longer treats patients, will refer to some practice manual that says you should recover in a certain amount of time without regard to how your actual condition is progressing.

One of the biggest mistakes I see long-term disability applicants make is failing to explain what medication they are taking, the side effects of the medication, and the impact the medication has on every day functioning. This impact can include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, frequent urination, fuzziness, confusion, irritability, and a host of other side effects.

You must be able to explain what treatment you are getting, how you’re progressing, what impact medication is having on your functioning and recommended treatment.

I assure you that you will be asked about other activities such as exercise, going in the pool, and walking. Make sure that what your doctor has said about these activities has been documented in your chart. You don’t want any questions about whether these activities are within your physical abilities.

You will also be asked about any special equipment you have like canes or scooter.

Less obvious, and often forgotten, is how you sleep, where you sleep, how much sleep you get at one time, whether you have to take naps, whether you get up and down, because you have difficulty sleeping, and how sleepy you are going the course of the day.

An experienced long term disability/ERISA disability attorney, like Nancy Cavey, should be consulted before you agree to give a continuing disability statement. You need to be properly prepared and have someone present, much like a deposition, to protect your rights before giving a continuing disability statement.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 6 – Restrictions and Limitations | Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer

One of the key reasons your continuing disability statement will be taken is to compare what you have said on your activities of daily living forms with surveillance film that has been taken of you.

The long-term disability investigator will ask you questions about what you can and cannot do. If you haven’t fully explain what you can and cannot do, there may be a “gotcha”.

The long-term disability investigator will have you sign a statement attesting to your physical abilities. Once you sign that form, they pull out the surveillance CD, pop it into their computer, and confront you with the alleged discrepancy between what you said you can do and what the film shows.

You have to be prepared! This is not a social visit to see how you’re doing!

I have seen too many cases destroyed for lack of preparation and lack of representation during a continuing disability statement. People simply don’t think they need representation and only learn the hard way once they have destroyed their claim.

Florida Long term disability/ERISA attorneys, like Nancy Cavey, can represent you, at your continuing disability statement. For more information, contact Nancy by clicking here or by calling 727.894.3188.

In the next series of posts we will talk about questions you will be asked about walking, standing, lifting, bending, twisting, squatting, kneeling, pushing and pulling, reaching, stairs, balance, use of hands, hearing and speech, vision, reading, concentration, sleep/fatigue, computer skills, driving, sitting, shopping, hygiene and housing accommodations. These topics will exhaust you and show you how much preparation is required for continuing disability statement.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 4 – Questions About Why You Can’t Work | Sarasota Long Term Disability Attorney

All right… you let the disability rats in. What they really want to talk about is:

1. How much you can lift?

2. Can you bend at the waist and how frequently?

3. How long can you stand?

4. How long can you sit at one time?

5. How long can you walk at one time?

6. How much can you pull?

7. Do you have any problems with your memory or concentration?

8. Do you have any problems with side effects of medication?

These questions are designed to establish that you are physically capable of doing at least a full-time sedentary, or light work. They will take answers to these questions back to your doctor and ask whether or not, based on your own admissions, you could do full-time sedentary work.  The disability carrier might even identify a full-time sedentary job and ask your doctor if you could do it.

If your doctor says that you can do full-time sedentary work, the long-term disability carrier will stop paying your disability benefits.

Most disability recipients fail to explain, when answering these questions, that their ability to function is impacted by the medication they take, the side effects of medication, and the fact that they have good days and bad days. You often take these questions literally.

Another mistake disability recipients make is to allow the disability carrier to equate your ability to lift, bend, stand, sit, walk or pull at home with the ability to do that activity in the workplace.

Another mistake disability recipients make is to make broad sweeping and generic statements about their abilities. I prefer specific examples of difficulties you have, how your abilities change based on your pain level, side effects of medication, whether you have good days or bad days, and how often.

Yet another mistake disability recipients make is failing to explain how they need to change position, may need to take naps, how their level of functioning on a good day is different from the level of functioning on a bad day, and how long it takes to recover from a bad day.

Obviously, you should consult disability Attorney Nancy Cavey before you give any continuing disability statement or allow a home visit. Failure to prepare can destroy your claim.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 3 – Handling Questions About Your Medical Condition | Bradenton Long Term Disability Lawyer

When the insurance adjuster or investigator comes to take a continuing disability statement they are going to ask you questions about your “disabling condition” and your “symptoms.”

Now, I find that rather silly. You have been filling out statements about your condition on a regular basis and the carrier has probably had your physician fill out forms at least once every three months. Can’t the disability adjuster read?

You probably haven’t seen what your physician has said in the your medical records or how they fill out the forms. The long-term disability carrier is trying to catch you complaining of different disabling conditions than you’re claiming or which are being discussed in your medical records. One of the reasons to have an attorney present is to review all the forms and medical records so you know what’s in them.

Symptoms are the things you are complaining of or present with on examination. Why are you asked questions about your symptoms? To compare what you said on your statements with what your doctor has recorded.

More importantly, the questions about symptoms are a prelude to asking about what you can and cannot do. The carrier wants to see whether your complaints about symptoms and your physical activity is consistent with what is reported in your doctor’s notes, whether that’s consistent with your diagnosis, and whether that’s consistent with any surveillance they have on you.

If you say your symptoms prevent you from lifting, bending, or stooping because you have constant back pain, and they have film of you, stooping and lifting boxes or bending at the waist repetitively, you’re in trouble.

I suggest you consult with long-term disability Attorney Nancy Cavey, who can prepare you for handling questions about your medical condition and symptoms.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 2 – Letting the Disability Rats Visit Your House | Brandon Long Term Disability Attorney

You’ve gotten a call from the long-term disability/ERISA adjuster saying they want to do a field visit at your house.

This is not a social call and they are not coming to wish you well.

They, most likely, already have surveillance film of you. They want an opportunity to take your statement about what you can and cannot do. They will ask you about what you do around your house or your yard. They will comment on how nice your house or your yard looks trying to get you to talk about what you do to maintain your residence.

Once they take your statement or have the field visit, they will spring the surveillance on you!

Do you let rats in your house? Of course not! Then don’t let the disability rat visit your house.

I never allow field visits by long-term disability/ERISA adjusters or investigators.

I will only allow statements to be taken at a neutral place, such as a court reporter’s office, or my office.  Please realize that they will put surveillance on you to film you from the time you leave your house to the time you return on the day you are scheduled to give a statement or have a field visit. They may even have surveillance assigned several days before and after your statement or field visit.

You need the assistance of an experienced long-term disability/ERISA attorney, such as Nancy Cavey to prepare you for your statement and field visit so you don’t make crucial mistakes that will jeopardize your long-term disability benefits.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 1 – Giving a Statement Without Representation | Spring Hill Long Term Disability Lawyer

The long-term disability/ERISA carrier has asked for you to give a statement. What are you going to do?

First, as previously recommended, you really do need to retain an experienced long-term disability/ERISA attorney like Nancy Cavey.

They want to take your statement for the sole purpose of catching you in a trap that they are building for the purpose of terminating your benefits or forcing you to sell your case cheaply.

Most likely, they already have surveillance film on you. They want to try to catch you by having you say that you can engage in activity that is different than what they have filmed you doing.

After the adjuster takes your statement, they will spring the surveillance film on you.

Mistake 1 is giving your statement without being represented. You need to be prepared for this statement. That will involve reviewing all of your medical records so that you know what the doctors have recorded about your complaints, and what doctors have said about your physical abilities.  It will also involve a review of the Activities of Daily Living forms that you’ve completed.

We have a video that we have our clients watch about statement preparation, so that you understand the process, what you’re going to be asked, and how to properly and actually answer the questions you’ll be asked.

Nancy Cavey also requires that any statement be done in a neutral place and that it be videotaped. I’ve seen too many summaries by insurance company investigators that were self serving and completely inaccurate.  It’s hard to challenge the accuracy of a summary if you don’t have a contemporaneous videotape of what occurred.

Don’t make mistake 1- Giving a Statement without Representation!

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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