Can the Claims Adjuster Discuss My Medical Care with My Doctor?
There are several subjects the claims adjuster is allowed to discuss with your doctor, but your medical care is not one of them. Unless you give the adjuster permission to speak with your doctor they may not call and ask questions concerning your care.
There are many complicated rules regarding communication with medical providers. Defendants are allowed to obtain medical records, medical bills, and address non-substantive matters, but they can not discuss important matters like treatment without the authorization from you, the injured worker.
The statute is clear about the type of written communication that is allowed as well, and provides specific questions that can be asked without your consent.
It can be confusing when an adjuster calls you and asks if they can discuss a certain topic with your doctor. What you say in an unplanned moment may hurt your case. If you suspect improper communication has occurred you should contact an attorney to discuss the issue.
Call us today for a free consultation. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to stand up for you.
Do I Need an Attorney to Apply for Social Security Disability?
If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability, you may have many questions. One question most people have is, when will I need an attorney? My answer to that question is: immediately.
- An attorney can review your age, education, past work, and impairments to determine if you are a good candidate to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. The sooner you know if you’re a good candidate, the better able you are to prepare for your future.
- If you wait to apply for Social Security Disability benefits it could affect the date you begin receiving benefits. If you wait two years to apply and are denied, then you will have to wait another two years to get a hearing. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will have a hearing if you’re denied.
- If you’re denied, an attorney can begin the appeal process immediately or discuss other options for benefits if you’re not a good candidate for Social Security Disability benefits.
A few other common indicators for whether you need an attorney:
- Your doctor says you are going to be out of work for a while
- Your doctor says you cannot work
- You’ve been diagnosed with a severe condition/impairment
- Your doctor says you cannot go back to the job you were doing
- You’ve had a major surgery that will affect the rest of your life, such as a spinal cord stimulator, stroke, heart attack, etc.
It is also important to tell your doctor that you’re applying for Social Security Disability benefits. It is essential to inform your doctor of all of your impairments — both mental and physical — if your doctor doesn’t know about it, it will not be in your medical records. Social Security reads your medical records to determine how your impairments affect your work, so it’s important that nothing is left out. Most doctors know what key language to write in your medical records to help Social Security find you disabled.
If you are applying for Social Security Disability, give us a call for a free consultation. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience, knowledge, and commitment to protect your rights.
Oxner + Permar Gives Back: Informing the Community
At Oxner + Permar we love to help our clients find local organizations who provide help to those in need. NC 2-1-1 is a great resource for people in North Carolina looking for assistance with housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and addictions.
What is NC 2-1-1?
NC 2-1-1 is a referral service provided by the United Way that gives callers information in all 100 North Carolina counties. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and your call is free and confidential. They are available in most languages and will refer you to a program or organization that is local to you.
As part of the State Emergency Response Team, they are also available during natural or public disasters to help residents with everything from real-time communication to evacuating to meals and post-disaster cleanup.
If you’re a resident of North Carolina and are in need of assistance, but aren’t sure where to start, give NC 2-1-1 a call. Simply dial 2-1-1 from a landline, cell phone, or VOIP. They have Spanish speaking call specialists and professional language interpretation services in 170 languages.
Additional information can be found on their website. At Oxner +Permar we strive to provide our clients with as many resources as possible. Follow us on Facebook for additional community resources.
Free Farm + Art Tour in South Carolina
If you enjoy knowing where your food comes from, learning more about local agriculture, or want to spend the day dancing to bluegrass and folk music, this is a great event for you. Every Saturday and Sunday in June there will be self-guided tours of farms throughout South Carolina, with food and activities for children and adults.
It is a free event that is open to the public where local artisans will be set up to display their work, there will be live music, food, hayrides, barnyard animals, and fresh veggies to pick as you tour historic farms.
The Ag + Art Tour has grown since it began in 2012. The event started out with just one farm and now includes tours of farms in 12 counties every weekend in June, and is the largest farm and art tour in the United States.The tours start Saturday, June 2 with five farms to choose from.
If you are interested in attending any of the free farm + arts tours in South Carolina throughout the month of June, more information can be found on their website.
Amends to Legislation to Clarify What Injuries Are Accepted
The North Carolina General Assembly passed a new law that will impact those who are seeking medical treatment after being injured on the job. This was done to strike down the North Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling in Wilkes v. City of Greenville. In Wilkes, the Court cited the previous version of this legislation and held “an admission of compensability…entitles an employee to a presumption that additional medical treatment is causally related to his compensable injury.” In other words, this meant that once the claim was accepted on a Form 60 or 63 section 1, the burden of proof shifted to the employer to disprove that the requested medical treatment was not related to the injury.
The new legislation now says that an accepted claim on a Form 60 or 63 section 1 “shall not create a presumption that medical treatment for an injury or condition NOT IDENTIFIED in the form prescribed” by the Commission on a Form 60 and 63 section 1 “is causally related to the compensable injury.” Therefore, if the body part that the injured worker is requesting treatment for is not listed on the Form 60 or 63 section 1, then they bear the burden of proof. This is the case even if the Defendants have been paying for the medical treatment for weeks, months, or years.
If the injured worker has been receiving medical treatment for a body part, directed by Defendants, and it is not listed on the Form 60 or 63 section 1 for an extended period of time and the Defendants deny ongoing care, the injured worker must go through the formal hearing process and prove that the body part is related to the claim. This is not only a reversal of our North Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling in Wilkes, but also causes harm to the injured worker if Defendants one day stop providing care—months or years down the road.
If you have been injured on the job and have questions about how this new legislation will impact your workers’ comp claim, don’t hesitate to give us a call for a free consultation. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience to handle all kinds of workers’ comp cases.