After helping patients navigate through illnesses and injuries that lead to disability, disabled physicians often deal with physical or mental illness along with loss of income and self-esteem.
Disability can hit anyone at anytime. Physicians assess patients and fill out disability forms that patients need in order to qualify for income replacement. All physicians who work with disabled patients are familiar with the angst that patients and their families suffer from when income drops as a result of disability.
There are several details that come into play when physicians themselves become disabled. Familiarity with these issues and the most common pitfalls can help prevent wasted time and energy when navigating the process.
Government Benefits vs. Private Insurance Benefits
If you have disability insurance, it is likely that you are entitled to receive both social security benefits and benefits from your private insurance plan. Government benefits do not require you to purchase a plan prior to becoming disabled, but the amount of income replacement that you are entitled to receive from your disability insurance company and from the government may be impacted by the amount you receive from the other.
Specialty Specific Coverage
You are a physician, but your skills and certifications go beyond those that you attained when you earned your MD or DO. Physicians who are not able to practice their own specialty are not qualified to practice other specialties even if those other specialties are less lucrative, less competitive or require shorter and less intense training programs.
If you have worked for a long time, you may have substantial assets — particularly if you have invested well and avoided overspending throughout the years.
After having helped patients navigate through illnesses and injuries that lead to disability, disabled physicians have to deal with physical or mental illness along with loss of income and self-esteem. Resources for physicians dealing with disability can be found here.