If you are in the midst of seeking long term disability benefits, or are being questioned about your eligibility for such benefits, chances are that you will be asked to be examined by an independent medical examiner.
Just as the name suggests, an IME will report their findings to the insurer and may challenge your physician’s findings regarding your ability to work. Although IMEs are supposed to be independent, it is not surprising that they attempt to find things that are favorable to the insurer. After all, the insurer saves money when they don’t pay claims, and they would rather give a few thousand to an IME if it will save them a hundred thousand in paying a claim.
With that said, there are a number of things to be mindful of when undergoing an independent medical exam.
Assume that you are being evaluated at all times – While the medical exam is supposed to focus on your physical limitations, you will likely be examined from the time you enter the building to the time you leave.
Don’t talk about your injury – You may be goaded into small talk with the receptionist, a nurse or even a fellow patient in the waiting room. What may be overheard may be used against you in the future.
Don’t exaggerate or embellish – Your credibility is your greatest weapon when it comes to guarding against unscrupulous insurers, so don’t exaggerate pain or claim to have ailments that you don’t have.
If you have additional questions about independent medical examinations, an experienced disability law attorney can advise you.