Ask A Lawyer: Independent Medical Evaluations

We speak to a lawyer from our team, and read them some questions from potential clients with Bipolar Disorder. Read more to find out about specific issues surrounding Bipolar Disorder and disabilities claims and IME's.

Q: As a potential client diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, if my insurance company requests an IME, is it mandatory for me to have the examination?

Of course, you can always decline submitting an IME, but it’s extremely important to weigh the potential consequences. If your insurance company has already denied your claim and you are not receiving any benefits, you may not have as much to lose. However, if your claim is still pending or you are currently receiving benefits, denying an IME can cause these benefits to be cut off. Therefore, the decision to deny an examination should be discussed with your lawyer, who can help you decide whether the insurance company’s request for an IME is lawful.

Q: If the insurance company requests an IME for my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, am I allowed to bring someone into the room with me during the examination? Also, what exactly is an IME?

A: You can make a request to bring someone along with you, however, many assessors do not allow it – persistence and non-cooperation may result in termination or suspension of benefits.

An IME is meant to provide an unbiased and professional medical examination in legal matters, and is conducted by a medical specialist who has never previously offered medical care to the individual. The medical professional cannot be employed by the party requesting it, such as the insurance company, yet insurance companies typically use the same doctors in order to have some control over the outcome of the report.

Q: Having recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, can I request a copy of the IME (Independent Medical Examination) report?

A: If your insurance company requests an independent medical examination and your claim has been denied, you do have the right to request a copy of the IME report because you will want to know why the claim has been denied.

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