The insurance company has something to prove. It wants to prove that you do not have the long-term disability that you claim to have so that it can deny paying your long-term disability claim. This is how the insurance company maximizes its profits. Therefore, it may go to significant lengths to prove that you are not disabled. This can include taking pictures, recording videos, and taking notes about your actions when you are outside of your home.
Are You Being Followed by the Insurance Company?
The insurance company does not have to give you notice that an investigator is following you. You may suspect that you are being, or will soon be, followed if:
- The insurance company asks you specific questions about the time and location of your appointments. This might include the day, time, and physical location of your doctors’ appointments, for example.
- You are asked for an activity log. The insurance company might be looking for you to say when you will be out of your house and where you will be going.
- You notice that you are being followed or observed. You may notice the same car or same person outside your home or other places you go to regularly. In some cases the investigator may talk to you or ask you questions.
Additionally, surveillance may be more likely if you have a disabling condition that is difficult to verify through objective medical tests such as MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, or blood tests.
What Surveillance Is Allowed by the Insurance Company?
An insurance company may watch you when you are outside of your home. This may include watching you while you are:
- Going to and from doctor appointments.
- Running errands.
- Gardening in your yard.
- Carrying things from your car to your home.
You have a reasonable expectation of privacy within your own home and the insurance company should not be watching you within your home without your permission or the permission of a court.
Insurance Company Surveillance Doesn’t Mean the End of Your Disability Claim
An insurance company’s surveillance work does not have to be the end of your claim. Even if the insurance company chooses to watch you closely, you can still protect your rights by:
- Being honest. You may have a long-term disability that prevents you from working and you may still be able to drive or leave your home. Therefore, it is important that you do not exaggerate your disability to the insurance company. Instead, be truthful about how your disability impacts your life. Then, even if the insurance company chooses to follow you it will be unable to catch you lying about your health or disability status.
- Following your doctors’ orders. It is important to do just what your doctor says in terms of carrying, lifting, bending, driving, or doing other physical activities.
Additionally, it is important to remember that surveillance video, photos, and notes are not the only things that will be considered in your long-term disability case. They may be part of the evidence, but they are not the entire record.
How to Protect Your Long-Term Disability Claim
You have a lot at stake. While you may still be able to drive to a doctor’s appointment, go to the grocery store, or pull a few weeds from your garden, you are not able to work and you deserve to recover the long-term disability benefits that you have earned by working for your employer. Unfortunately, the insurance company may use surveillance and other means to try to limit your recovery of benefits.
You can protect your right to the benefits you deserve by working with experienced long-term disability benefits ERISA attorneys who can advise you about the specific steps that you need to take to protect your recovery. To learn more, please call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We would be pleased to meet with you, to help you understand your rights, and if appropriate, to fight for your full and fair recovery of long-term disability benefits.