I’ve seen lots of threads, comments and questions about requesting a copy of your file from the insurer. I just want to give my take on this because I personally think it’s crucial to request a copy of your file periodically. I requested mine for the first time, immediately after my claim was denied. It did not take long and I was not asked to pay, never been asked to pay any fees.
It was incredibly helpful then in being able to identify how parts of my medical history has been misinterpreted, inaccurately documented and then used to justify my denial. It was one of many tools I used to counter their arguments used to deny my claim. There were many more but having my file was incredibly helpful.
I have since requested a copy every year and it has been helpful in many other ways so I cannot stress how much I recommend doing this.
In my case, I didn’t even have to go through my case manager if I chose not to, as there is a dedicated contact who handles these requests. They’ve been sent to me electronically except for the one I requested last year, which was apparently too voluminous to be sent in an electronic file that would be within the limit for attachments accepted in their secured email inbox, or something. They wouldn’t send it through other online large file transfer service so they printed it and mailed a huuuge amount of pages. Next time I ask, I’ll try to see if they can simply send whatever is new and not the entire file.
I learned a lot of important things that I would have otherwise never found out about that are actually useful for my gp in my treatment.
So, bottom line. Request a copy of your file. And read it! And repeat periodically.
Good post. I think the best time to request your file is when your LTD company is being hostile. During “good times” (e.g., when they are leaving your alone) I wouldn’t request it, because it will bring attention to your file. But if they decide to start bothering you, or challenging your claim, or requesting an IME, etc. then that is the time to request your full file. It also lets them know you aren’t going to be pushed around. Right now I am in a “being left alone” phase so I won’t be stirring the pot. I am 6 years into my claim and the longer I am on it the more I feel relaxed. I always felt like the longer you are on LTD, the harder it is for them to cut you off. I don’t know why I fear being cut off, I am completely disabled, but it will always be a fear of mine even though I have no legitimate reason to fear it. Anyways, I am off topic now… thanks for the good post.
I agree but depends on the situation. I think it’s definitely good to ask when they are giving you a hard time for the approval haha but other than that, I’ve always asked when things are just getting settled for a while. Like, after an update or when I was approved for the change of definition. I requested it again when my file was moved to long duration. Everyone was on good terms and there were no issues.
It’s totally normal and reasonable to want to have a copy of your file, so I’ve never really seen it as a confrontation or a pressure tactic. More of a closing off one chapter and starting a new one, so I’d-like-to-keep-a-copy-for-my-files-please-and-thank-you lol I see it as an admin task to keep things up to date on my end.
My “back off” move is to escalate, document my complaints and submit them for review. I don’t jump straight to that, I do try to resolve it without having to resort to that but when it becomes clear I’m getting nowhere, I escalate. I can see (from what’s in my file) how things got moving FAST when I submitted my complaint to the ombudsman’s office after 8 months of getting nowhere trying to get answers after my claim was initially denied.
It’s usually not the person you’re dealing with who calls the shots so you have to go above them if anything is going to happen. Their hands are tied. But when the issue lands on someone higher up’s desk, things start moving. Bureaucracy!