QUESTION: I’m currently receiving disability benefits. How often do I need to see my doctor?
We hear this question quite often from our clientele. With your medical background serving as your base of proof of your ongoing disability, obviously routine visits to your treating physician is extremely important to your receiving continued benefits. The degree to which you are disabled, and the type of disability you suffer from, help determine how often you need to see your doctor. Not doing so can, and will, result in the termination of your payments, as your insurance company will take it as a sign that your health, and therefore, your ability to return to work has been restored.
There are two basic types of disabilities that qualify for long-term benefits: physical or psychiatric. With a physical disability, you should be seeing your doctor, in the very least, once every three months; though it is recommended that you go once a month as it is in your best interest to continue to build a case that supports your claim of a disabling illness or injury. With a psychiatric, or mental, disability, monthly visits to your mental health professional is the norm, though some even require weekly visits. Often, those suffering from mental or psychiatric disabilities visit both a psychiatrist and a physician on a routine basis.
As your ERISA attorney, we recommend that you keep seeing your doctor on a routine and regular basis, making sure to never miss an appointment and to be completely transparent with your doctor. Having complete and honest medical records is the first step in ensuring that you continue to receive your disability benefits for as long as you need them.