Request to change communication from phone to email

Hi everyone,

I’m currently on STD, for severe anxiety and depression. My case insurance worker, calls me every 2 weeks and essentially harrasses me and tries to twist my words/force me to admit things on the phone. I have been able for the most part handle her - but everytime I have these calls I end up spiraling into a mental break down (including crying, extreme stress over these calls etc)

I’ve read some of you have been able to switch from phone to email communication? is this something I can do, given I’m on STD?

Another thing, I would like to ask is - the process has become so unhealthy for me that I want to quit and just not be associated with the insurance or my former employer. I understand I would be cut off from the benefits. Is there any other recuperations could happen besides getting cut off from the payments? And are there any other government programs I could use instead.

I’d appreciate any advice that could be provided. Thank you in advance.

They WANT you to give up. If you are entitled to it, stick with it.
I sent a letter by email stating that because of the stress and harassment of the telephone calls I would only communicate by writing. This cut the stress by at least half. I would not answer the phone or return scheduled calls. They eventually stopped calling and the emails were sparse.
I sent the same type letter to my employer. After ghosting me for several months, they fired me. (THAT is a different legal issue!)

I also directed the insurer to deal with my doctors directly. It was too stressful for me to book an appointment, bring in the paperwork and mail it back. It was ridiculous. But, ultimately they finally decided to continue my LTD until 65.

Hi Marilyn,

I sent an email to my case worker informing, that I only want to be emailed moving forward. My case worker told me that it’s against policy to communicate via email and that in order to continue getting benefits I have to call them. What should I do next?

I had the same issues with my LTD supplier. Fought for 5 months to get approved. Then after that the first 9 months was nothing but harrassment. When they called I would let it go to voice mail, then I woukd email my case worker and asked what she needed. I do all correspondence via email. Wanted to have everything in writing. This way there’s no he said she said BS. They will try to trick you to twist your words. Their goal is to get you off the benefits to save them money. But since I’ve been approved beyond the 24 month mark and have been approved for CPPD they havent really bothered me.

Thanks Kiddomoase for your experience. Right now, my insurer is threatening to cut off my benefits and is saying that in order to receive benefits I need to speak to them on the phone. Did you have a similar experience?

Hi

No they didnt say that, but to me that is harrassment as well as threating. As long as they have a way to get in contact with you, it shouldn’t matter how it is done.

She can still ask the same questions via email. This way it gives you the time you need to get your thoughts together before you answer any questions. It’s your right to request correspondence in writing. As long as you are in contact with your case worker there is no reason for her /him not to comply with your wishes.

Hi Kiddomoase,

They are citing an internal policy to keep my privacy hidden and now say they will cut off my benefits tomorrow if I do not call and keep using email as a communication. Do they have this right?

@David_Brannen

Wow! Are they quoting this from your employee policy.

Probably a question for David Brannen.

Perhaps put in a complaint against your case worker. I didnt think they could refuse. But then again one never knows what they can get away with.

Sorry that they are treating you this way. It certainly does not help your healthcare

How do I file a complaint?

They are not quoting, they are just referencing. And yes… i’m extremely stressed by this situation. Makes me feel like giving up.

My experience is the same as kiddomoase. If you don’t like confrontations, just stop answering your phone. Put it on mute, let it go to voicemail. Then, email your case manager and say “Hi, I got your voicemail. What can I help you with?”. Just keep doing this until they either accept it or put you on the spot and say “I need to talk to you on the phone”. Then simply reply to them “Sorry, I do not answer my phone due to doctor’s orders. I only use it for voice mail”. Alternatively you can change your voice mail setting to say something like “Hello, you have reached XXXXXXXXXXXX. Please leave a short message and your email address and I will contact you via email. I do not answer this phone and do not return phone calls. Thank you”.

Like kiddomoase said, once you get past 24 months AND get cppd approved they will really leave you alone because they are paying you less money and also they know that it CPP says you are disabled then they can’t really disprove that. I have not been contacted for an update by my LTD company in over a year now. I keep waiting for them to do it but I feel like they just can’t be bothered. They seem swamped and unable to answer emails during covid. Just blend in, that’s the goal. You don’t want to stand out.

I just read your other posts here. No, they do not have the right to request you communicate via phone. That is absurd. What if a disabled person can’t speak? Deaf? What if they are mute? What if they have throat cancer? Or throat surgery? What if someone has anxiety and is unable to talk? They want you to talk to them on the phone so they can bully you. If they are threatening to cut off your benefits for not talking to them on the phone then tell them to put that in writing. If they are suggesting email is unsafe, simply say “No problem, postal mail will do fine then. Here is my address. Do not phone me anymore”.

Hello!
I’m so sorry to hear you are going through this, but please know you are not alone. There are always ways to resolve these types of issues with difficult advisors, it’s just about finding the right approach.

You can absolutely request to have communications be through email(although they may need a call once in a while to confirm identity/proof of life). When I had this issue, I explained that due to my conditions I needed to be accommodated with email communication to give me the time to be able to process and include all the necessary information, and to be able to have a record. If you make it clear that it’s about accommodating your disability, they are more likely to comply, since it would look very bad for a disability company to not accommodate disabled claimants. Just clearly state the negative impact that the phone calls have on your current state, why the emails would be beneficial(ex. “I cannot think clearly when on the phone due to my high anxiety levels, and I would be able to process the information easier though email” or “due to my high anxiety levels, I cannot process my thoughts or information clearly on the phone, and email communication would provide me the time to respond with all the information needed”, etc.), and make clear that the stress of the phone calls are detrimental to your progress in treatment/recovery/health at the current stage(what I assume based on your post).

Also, if you are seeing a psychologist/mental health professional/primary caregiver - I would discuss this and the affect these calls have on you, and they may be able to provide a letter for the company supporting email communication for health benefit, or at least support you in telling them how this is detrimental to your treatment and recovery. This often goes a long way if it’s an option, but I know many people do not have access.

I know it is incredibly hard, and I know how torturous it can be with anxiety, but please don’t forfeit your job and the benefits you are entitled to! As much as they may try and make you feel as if you don’t, you DO deserve this coverage until medically cleared! I know it’s so hard, but you can do this! If you do need to apply for CPP down the road, quitting and forfeiting these benefits may be an issue; but I’m not a lawyer, so I have to defer to David for his advice there.

If they continue to give pushback after the above, ask politely to be escalated to the supervisor. Sometimes if a supervisor sees that you have explained why you need an accommodation, they will make the agent follow it.
Hang in there!

Communicate only in email.Its your call not theirs. I was there once as well. If they continue to harass that is affecting your health ask your doctor to write a Cease and Desist letter to them . Document everything .

Thanks everyone for the advice, I’ve taken this advice and I’m holding my ground on this. They continue to harass me, but I won’t pick up.