Medical imaging studies such as MRI scans and X-rays are important tools that can be used to support a short or long term disability claim. MRI scans and X-rays may reveal the extent of an injury or medical condition, as well as the progression of a condition over time. You can use this objective medical evidence to demonstrate to your insurance company the severity of your condition and how your symptoms prevent you from working.
In this article, we will explore how MRIs and X-rays can be used to prove a short or long term disability claim and how The Maddox Firm can help you win your benefits.
How do I know if an MRI or X-ray is necessary for my disability claim?
Knowing whether an MRI or X-ray is necessary for your disability claim will depend on the specific medical condition or injury that is the basis for your claim. Generally speaking, imaging studies such as MRIs and X-rays are ordered when there is a suspected or diagnosed medical condition that cannot be fully evaluated through a physical examination alone.
If you are unsure whether an MRI or X-ray is necessary for your disability claim, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider. They can determine if an imaging study is necessary to fully understand the nature and severity of your condition. If your healthcare provider decides that an imaging study is necessary, they can order it and provide you with a referral to a radiology facility where the study can be completed.
In addition to speaking with your healthcare provider, it is important to review your disability insurance policy to understand the requirements for medical documentation to support your claim. Most disability insurance companies will not approve your claim without objective evidence demonstrating your condition and symptoms.
Below we will discuss what conditions MRIs and X-rays are best used to diagnose and evaluate.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a type of imaging study that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.
MRIs can be used to evaluate a wide range of medical conditions, including:
Spinal conditions: MRIs can be used to evaluate conditions affecting the spinal cord and nerves, such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spinal cord tumors.
Joint and bone conditions: MRIs can be used to diagnose and evaluate conditions affecting the joints and bones, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and fractures.
Soft tissue injuries: MRIs can be used to evaluate soft tissue injuries such as ligament or tendon tears, rotator cuff injuries, and meniscal tears.
Cancer: MRIs can be used to detect and evaluate the extent of cancerous tumors in various parts of the body, including the brain, breasts, and prostate.
X-rays can be used to diagnose and evaluate a variety of medical conditions that affect the bones and joints. These conditions can include:
Fractures: X-rays can show whether a bone has been fractured, and if so, the location and severity of the fracture.
Arthritis: X-rays can show the extent of joint damage caused by arthritis, including the loss of joint space and the presence of bone spurs.
Osteoporosis: X-rays can show the thinning of bones associated with osteoporosis.
Tumors: X-rays can be used to detect and evaluate the extent of tumors in the bones.
Degenerative disc disease: X-rays can show the degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae in the spine.
Scoliosis: X-rays can show the curvature of the spine in individuals with scoliosis.
How can MRIs and X-rays support my disability claim?
Both MRIs and X-rays can support your short or long term disability claim by providing objective evidence of your disabling condition. These imaging studies allow doctors to diagnose and determine the severity of your medical condition or injury. The detailed images produced by MRIs and X-rays can also help establish the extent and severity of any physical limitations that you may be experiencing as a result of your condition.
For example, if you have a herniated disc in your spine, an MRI or X-ray can provide objective evidence of your condition and the extent of the damage. The report of the MRI or X-ray can describe the findings and severity of the herniated disc, which can be used to support your disability claim by showing the limitations in your ability to work or perform daily activities.
In addition, MRIs and X-rays can also be used to document the progression of a medical condition or injury over time. This can be particularly important in long term disability claims, where you may need to demonstrate the ongoing impact of your medical condition on your ability to work or perform daily activities.
Objective medical evidence is key for short and long term disability claims. Your insurance company may be quick to downplay the severity of your condition based on self-reported symptoms such as pain and muscle weakness. MRIs and X-rays provide verifiable information about your condition and its impact on your ability to work. By providing this objective evidence, you can demonstrate to your insurance company that your symptoms are real and have a clear medical basis.
It is important to note that MRIs and X-rays are just one type of medical evidence that can be used to support your disability claim. Other types of medical evidence, such as medical records, statements from treating physicians, and additional testing such as Neuropsychological Evaluations or Functional Capacity Evaluations may be submitted with your disability claim.
How can my MRIs and X-rays be explained to my disability insurance company?
To explain your MRIs and/or X-rays to your disability insurance company, you can provide them with a copy of the imaging report and a brief summary of what the imaging study showed. The report of the imaging study will describe the findings and severity of your medical condition or injury, which can help establish the limitations in your ability to work or perform daily activities.
If you are unsure how to interpret the imaging report or explain it to the insurance company, an experienced ERISA attorney can help. In the section below, we’ll discuss how The Maddox Firm can assist with your short or long term disability claim.
How can The Maddox Firm help prove my disability claim?
If you are looking to file a short or long term disability claim, an ERISA attorney can help. The Maddox Firm has helped many clients with conditions requiring MRI and X-ray evidence win their disability benefits from their insurance companies. Our team is knowledgeable about the disability claim process and can provide guidance on the types of evidence that may be necessary to support the approval of your short or long term disability claim.
Here are a few ways The Maddox Firm can assist with your disability claim:
Examining your disability insurance policies. To receive disability benefits, you must meet the eligibility requirements outlined in your disability insurance policy, which can often be confusing and difficult to understand. At The Maddox Firm, we can help you navigate your group and/or private policies by carefully examining the terms and answering your questions about eligibility and timelines.
Gathering all of the strongest medical evidence for your claim. The Maddox Firm will request all medical records on your behalf. We can then review the existing medical evidence and determine if additional medical evidence is needed. The Maddox Firm can also assist with interpreting your imaging results for your insurance company by providing an explanation of the purpose of the imaging studies, what medical conditions or injuries they were used to diagnose or evaluate, and how they support your disability claim. We can also provide an interpretation of the results, including any abnormalities or limitations that are relevant to your claim. In addition, we can coordinate with your healthcare provider to write a letter explaining the significance of the imaging study and its impact on your ability to perform your occupational duties.
Recommending any additional testing. MRIs and X-rays do provide objective evidence of your diagnosis and symptoms, but it may be beneficial to undergo additional testing to further demonstrate your level of functioning. For example, a Functional Capacity Evaluation (“FCE”) is a medical test used to assess your physical abilities and limitations, particularly in cases where muscle weakness, nerve pain, or other symptoms affect your ability to perform physical functions such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, or carrying. The results of an FCE can provide objective evidence of your restrictions and limitations and support your disability claim.
Obtaining all necessary vocational evidence. Vocational evidence is also crucial in helping your insurance company understand the impact of your medical condition on your ability to work. In addition to your resume and official job description, The Maddox Firm can help you draft a personal affidavit that outlines the specific tasks and responsibilities of your job, as well as obtain a witness statement from a co-worker or employer that highlights any decline in your work performance due to your medical condition. We can also refer you to experienced vocational experts who can provide a vocational report to further support your disability claim.
Handling all communications with your insurance company. The Maddox Firm will immediately take over all correspondence with your insurance company to ensure all paperwork is received and any questions or requests go through us.
Filing an appeal or litigation on your behalf. If your short or long term disability claim has already been denied, or your benefits are terminated, The Maddox Firm can handle your appeal or litigation with your insurance company.
We always recommend speaking with a trusted attorney before filing or appealing a short or long term disability claim. Whether you are looking for assistance in navigating the claims process, appealing a claim denial, or litigating a final adverse decision, The Maddox Firm can help. The team at The Maddox Firm will look over your insurance policy, correspondence from your insurance company, medical records, and any other relevant documentation in order to give you personalized guidance on how we can help you win your short and/or long term disability claim.