Keeping Your Insurer Updated While on LTD
While you’re receiving LTD benefits, you have various responsibilities. We’ve talked about two of them already: trying your best to recover, and participating in return to work programs. Today we’re going to talk about what’s required of you in terms of ongoing communication with the insurer. As always, every policy is different, so these are general principles.
Once they’ve approved your claim and begun paying your LTD benefits, the insurer will want ongoing proof that you’re unable to work. (Remember: their goal is to get you back to work as soon as possible.) To have an accurate picture of the status of your injury, illness and recovery, the insurer will seek ongoing updates about your health.
Part of this is regular communication with your doctor. Depending on your situation, this could be monthly or every few months. They’re looking for how your recovery is going, how your mental health is, and how close you are to being able to go back to work. If your doctor charges fees for completing forms or providing reports, you’re usually the one who will be responsible for paying them.
The insurer will also contact you for regular conversations. They’ll want to know how you are doing and how you’re feeling about your situation, what activities are affected by your disability, and how you’re feeling about getting back to some amount of work. Your job here is to be truthful, provide the information or answers they ask for, and to be respectful. Don’t exaggerate, but don’t downplay either. Be frank about your challenges.
Likewise, the insurer is expected to treat you politely and respectfully as well. The case manager might seem empathetic and supportive, but remember that their interests are not the same as yours. You don’t need to go into the conversation on the offence, but you should be aware that they’ll be looking for indications that you’re ready to get back to work.
You should always take notes about any communication with the insurer. Keep a notebook handy, where you can write down who you talked to, when, for how long, and what you talked about. Do this right away, while your memory is fresh.
It’s also important to let your insurer know if you are moving, if your banking information changes, or if you are travelling outside the country.