You have been notified that you have an upcoming evaluation with a doctor, not about your Workers’ Compensation or Social Security claim, but rather something called a SIBTF claim and you are wondering why. The answer is simple. SIBTF is a different benefit with different rules than other disability claims. A medical evaluation is often needed to support the elements of this claim, namely the extent of your disabilities that predated your work-related injury.
We view this doctor as your ally in your SIBTF application process. The doctor’s report could be the key on your success obtaining SIBTF benefits. Then it will be on your best interest to cooperate at your best at the time of your evaluation. We recommend that prior your evaluation you do the following:
- Identify conditions related to the specialist of the doctor that you will see. For example, if you have an appointment with an internal medicine doctor you want to identify conditions that affect your internal body systems such as heart disease, hypertension, obesity, lung disease, etc. You can prepare notes of your conditions and bring it with you at the time of your appointment to help you to provide a good history to the doctor.
- Review your medical records including, but not limited to, surgeries, diagnoses and prescriptions so at the time of your evaluation you can offer a clear statement of your medical history that is consistent with the medical records that we provided to the doctor in advance of your appointment.
- Focus your attention on the conditions and or injuries you had before the date of your last or only injury at work. For example, if you had a work injury on December 24th of 2020 you need to look at your medical history before that date.
Keep in mind that when you pursue SIBTF benefits, it doesn’t matter if the earlier conditions you have are unrelated to work. It could be congenital conditions, degenerative conditions, or injuries you had due to a sport activity, motor vehicle accident or your military service. Unlike your worker’s compensation case, your SIBTF claims focus on the conditions you had prior getting injured at work so you shouldn’t be shy to share with the doctor your medical history BEFORE you got injured at work. In fact, you should focus on those during your evaluation with the doctor. If you have difficulties remembering dates and details, you can seek support from your family or caregivers. If that is not possible, don’t hesitate to reach out to GGF where we can give you access to your medical records so you can refresh your memory.