Requesting communication through email

My case manager has emailed me to set up a phone conversation next week. She doesn’t indicate the reason for the call and just recently received all my medical information from my doctor. I don’t feel comfortable doing this as in the past our conversations were quite lengthy and had me confused at the end of the call.

How can I phrase my email to her to advise I would like to be contacted via email going forward? I want to be polite but firm.

Hi Portia,

I am strongly against any phone conversations with case managers for numerous reasons. The main reason is that it puts you at an unfair advantage by having to instantly respond to a question when you may not have all the details, or you may not be able to verbally communicate the answer you want (due to anxiety or other problems). Imagine yourself later on telling an appeals committee “That isn’t what I meant!” when they play a recording of your call. Like you said, you felt confused at the end of a call. This is the same reason why you would never allow yourself to be interogated by a professional police officer without having a lawyer present. The case managers are experts at this and know how to get the information they want.

So I think it’s great of you to be proactive in this and eliminate phone calls entirely. As for how to phrase it, simply make it about you and not him. Tell him that you have a lot of anxiety talking on the phone and request that he send you the questions via email or postal mail. If he replies that he cannot do that and it is mandatory for a phone conversation, kindly ask him to send you the policy that says that. If he continues to push, just stand your ground and refuse to take the phone call. There is nothing he can do. Keep a paper trail of it all. Be warned that a few (small percentage) of case managers may take offense to this and begin a campaign of harrassment. Sort of like “Okay, you don’t want to take phone calls? Fine. Then every month forever I will request a full medical documentation from your doctor and ALL your specialists.” If that happens you have recourse. They cannot harrass you by demanding excess medical information. If your condition is permanent with little hope for change, then you can get a doctor to write you a letter saying that only X month (e.g. 6 month follow ups) are required and same with specialists, and then the case manager really has no power.

Adam - I agree it is very difficult to deal with phone conversations with case managers, especially the calls that come out of the blue and last for an hour…

Can you explain “appeals committee” and how it applies to most people on LTD?

Also, your comment about case managers recording phone calls and then using them as evidence at contractual proceedings really surprises me. Do group insurance providers/case managers in Canada secretly record phone calls and then use them against the disabled claimant?

Whether or not it’s recorded anything that you say is part of the evidence of your claim. It’s important to keep notes of what was said during the call, right after the call when your memory is fresh. I emailed myself my notes so that they were time stamped. A dated journal also works. Your notes of what was said will be your evidence to use in court or any dispute especially if your case manager keeps bad notes.

Hi Joanne

When I said appeals committee I was referencing the step that most LTD companies have after an internal appeal is done. Every LTD plan is different. Mine, for instance - if my case manager decides to terminate my benefits, I can then appeal it to their internal appeals department where a senior adjudicator will review it and make a determination. If they agree with the termination, then it goes to a panel of 3 doctors I believe. CPP-D is different. Ive never gone that far before thankfully. Ive had good luck at the normal appeals stage.

When I used to speak with my case manager, she would tell me the convo was being recorded and ask my permission. Also some LTD companies have even have you sign a waiver at the start saying all phone convos will be recorded, so you dont need to agree to it at the beginning of each session. But like Caro said, even conversations which are not recorded can be damaging. I am not sure if it is legally okay to secretly record a conversation (doubt it) but like I said they could be sneaky about it, it could be buried in some fine print you signed when you originally applied for benefits.

Hi Adam. Thanks for clarifying.

That’s interesting about your case manager recording your phone calls after advising you in advance. I don’t think it is a common practice. I have never heard of it and I’m glad you mentioned it. Thanks!

I agree as well …I went through this with my cAse Manager who later denied saying things she said on the phone. I only correspond through written email now which you are fully entitled to request and receive . DO NOT trust any of them . Going through a Human Rights Complaint now against my employer and Insurance provider . I also have evidence they regularly collude with each other in attempts to terminate your benefits or end their relationship with you .

Hi Adam. Thanks for the clarification on appeals committees. I think the appeals committee may relate only to “non-profit” LTD plans (typically public sector and union, encompassing the majority of Canadians covered by workplace LTD). Good point - every LTD plan is different.

All Insurance Companies are regulated to have internal appeals.
It is 100% legal to tape your phone calls or in person meetings in secret.
You can not tape record a conversation that you are not a part of.

In my case, the employer terminated the contract with the disability insurer while I was on short term (went to a cheaper company) so my disability insurer wanted me back to work asap as they would have had to fund my LTD claim for 15+years.
I currently have a wrongful dismissal claim against my former employer. They were provided misinformation from the insurance company and that was their reasoning for me being fired while on sick leave. The insurance company was hoping I would return to work and be fired on the first day back, therefore making me ineligible for further benefits.
Turns out, after documents were disclosed in my case, I was an expensive long term employee and my former employer was trying to save money by keeping on my cheaper replacement.

Hi All,
I was never given option of email for contact with ltd people. They call evry couple of months and i didn’t think there was an option. I hope my calls aren’t recorded …but I think David did right somewhere else that a 2 person convo. can be taped without telling the other person you’re doing it.