Disability for Physicians

Our practice was initially developed to represent physicians who were disabled and provide skilled professional assistance to help them obtain individual disability insurance benefits and/or their group long-term disability benefits. This is still the largest group we represent today. Most physicians have “own occupation” coverage available, which insures your inability to perform the “material” duties of your specialty, not medicine in general. Our team is well educated and experienced in understanding the specifics of your specialized area of medical practice and how to marry those unique specifics with your disabling medical condition and your disability insurance contract. We make sure you receive all benefits under your policies to which you should be entitled.

We have represented physicians in virtually all specialties, as well as those who primarily perform administrative roles, such as medical directors of hospitals, professors at universities and medical schools, case reviewers for medical insurance companies, those who work for pharmaceutical companies, as well as the host of other occupations that doctors’ careers often lead.

Physicians Have Many Options for Disability Insurance 

Many people can and should have multiple disability coverages to protect themselves should they become disabled and unable to work. If you are a physician and part of a large medical organization, facility, or practice, you likely have group short-term and long-term disability policies through your employer. You can also purchase individual disability insurance policies that will help provide additional financial assistance should you become disabled and unable to work. 

Regardless of your coverage, an experienced Philadelphia disability insurance attorney can help you with your claim for disability insurance benefits. Seltzer & Associates has helped physicians nationwide secure benefits while unable to work due to disability.

Physicians may also consider insurance that covers business expenses or overhead to keep medical practices fully operational, student loan protection that will provide extra benefits to cover student loan payments, retirement protection that can replace lost contributions to retirement accounts when you are disabled and not making contributions, and catastrophic disability benefits coverage to increase the amount of disability insurance benefits you receive if you suffer a devastating and permanent disability.  

Considerations in Evaluating Physician Disability Claims

Seltzer & Associates has ample experience obtaining disability insurance benefits for physicians in various practice areas. Physicians have great responsibility when it comes to providing patient care. We respect our physician clients for their commitment to the medical field, recognize their dedication to practice, and devote extensive attention to our individual clients seeking disability benefits when disabling conditions prevent them from practicing medicine. 

Each medical practice area has its own duties and responsibilities. Whether you have general medical practice or practice a specialty, we understand the many challenges that you face when unable to work, in addition to the obstacles you may encounter during the disability claim process.

Physicians often face added scrutiny when it comes to applying for disability insurance benefits as the insurance companies seek to avoid paying for larger claims. Insurance companies may wrongly interpret policy provisions against you, which only extends your financial burden.

Material and Substantial Duties of a Physician’s Occupation

When a disability insurance company is reviewing a physician’s disability insurance claim, it will evaluate whether the claimant physician can perform the material and substantial duties of the pre-disability occupation. This is a complex analysis when it comes to physicians, and it will vary depending on the type of practice and requirements of the position. 

One of the common difficulties in determining material and substantial duties is that the job descriptions used in evaluating a disability claim often do not accurately depict the duties the claimant is actually responsible for, or how significant a particular duty is to that physician’s employment. Even when job descriptions are fairly accurate, it is important for the physician to explain thoroughly to insurance adjusters, medical experts, vocational experts, and your Philadelphia disability insurance attorney what your job truly entails and if the job descriptions are leaving out anything significant that you do as part of your employment. 

Fortunately for disabled physicians, an experienced Philadelphia disability insurance attorney can help generate an accurate assessment of the claimant’s material and substantial duties and the limitations that prevent them from completing these duties. 

When it comes to general medical practice, the myriad of duties, responsibilities, and scope of patient cases can make defining the occupation difficult. An insurance company may interpret a physician’s duties very broadly, thereby finding the disabled physician is able to complete the necessary duties and is not disabled. 

Physicians who work in a specialty or subspecialty may face challenges when it comes to evaluating the material and substantial duties, particularly when performing surgeries is a component. Some insurance companies will argue that it is enough to deny disability insurance benefits if a surgeon is able to consult on cases, advise other surgeons, or provide other training or education to medical personnel. This may result in a wrongful denial or termination of benefits.

Physicians Should Not Fear Getting Treatment for Their Disability

Physicians may have many questions about seeking medical attention for disabling conditions. While treatment is certainly important, the fear of being denied disability insurance benefits while still out of work causes great stress upon many disabled physicians. 

Seltzer & Associates encourages our clients to seek all evaluations, treatment and care recommended by their treatment providers. Our Philadelphia disability insurance attorneys know that part of a successful claim for disability insurance benefits is seeking and maintaining appropriate care for your disability. 

While there remains some stigma around seeking treatment for mental health conditions, these views are changing through advocacy and education efforts. Professional organizations now encourage physicians to seek the care and treatment necessary for these conditions and have made more resources available for members. The same is true for addiction. Intensive treatment and therapy may be necessary for your condition and keep you from practicing medicine for an extended period of time. You need to focus your health and recovery, and Seltzer & Associates will advocate for you to get the disability insurance benefits you need so you can take the time you need for treatment.

Physician Total and Residual Disability 

Insurance companies protect their own interests by critically evaluating disability insurance claims. Denying costly claims from a disabled physicians is a potentially quick way to protect company profits. There are disability insurance policies that provide coverage only if the claimant is completely unable to work. Physicians are often found to have a limited ability to continue working, and this may exclude them from eligibility under the total disability definition. 

Your policy may also include a provision to provide disability insurance benefits to individuals who can work in a limited capacity. This is typically a residual or partial disability provision. An experienced Philadelphia disability insurance attorney can work with you and review your policy to determine eligibility for disability insurance benefits.

Physicians Experience Increased Burnout and PTSD

Being a physician can be a highly stressful occupation. Many physicians experience disabling levels of burnout. You should seek counsel from an experienced Philadelphia disability insurance attorney who can help you obtain disability insurance benefits due to debilitating physician burnout. Current levels of physician burnout are even higher due to recent staffing shortages, a lack of necessary medical supplies, and the increase in patients due to delayed care during the pandemic.

Physicians also experience a high rate of PTSD due to environmental factors. Dealing with life and death situations and other stressors can contribute to physician PTSD. If you are dealing with physician PTSD, Seltzer & Associates will have your back throughout your disability insurance claim process. 

How Seltzer & Associates Can Help You

Our team of attorneys, paralegals, and support staff, along with the best consultants and experts available, focus on each individual client and each client’s claim and case. We take the time necessary to fully understand your claim. We appreciate the impact your disabling medical condition has on your life and your inability to practice your specialized area of medicine.

We help you focus on restoring your health and the other major issues you encounter as a result of being disabled, while we take care of the financial burden one suffers as a result of disability. Contact us at 888-699-4222 to speak with one of our attorneys today.

Physicians We Represent:

  • Addictionologists
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  • Cardiologists
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeons
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  • Emergency Physicians
  • Endocrinologists
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  • Pulmonologists
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  • Sports Physicians
  • Surgeons
  • Urologists
  • Vascular Surgeons