People who have suffered a brain injury often become incapacitated to perform work duties, especially during the period of their recovery. This is more formally known as occupational disability. When this happens, you can usually seek for work loss benefits from your insurance company, who will pay you for the salary that you are entitled to while you are unable to work.
However, many insurance companies try their best to avoid paying for your work loss. This is because of their existing bias — they approach occupational disabilities as if it is the patient’s choice. They perceive it as a disability influenced by the people in your life, such as your family, friends, doctor, union rep, employer, attorney, etc.
In short, the insurance company perceives a person with occupational injury as a malingerer, as if the injury that was unfairly imposed upon you was your decision. This bias is often formed because you look fine physically, but they don’t understand the mental or psychological aspects of your injury.
How do you overcome this bias?
In order to avoid this unfair bias against you and your claim of disability due to your brain injury, you should approach your medical treatment like an injured athlete.
An injured athlete has a different mindset when it comes to their recovery. They are:
- Expressive of their desire to get back to playing the sport they love
- Obedient to what their doctors and therapists tell them to do
- Keen on getting second opinions if their first plans don’t work
- Always seeking advice on how to attain the goal of getting back into the game
- They are surrounding themselves with people who support their effort to get better and return to playing their sport.
These actions show that you, as the person with an occupational disability, are not helpless and “slacking off” because of your brain injury. Instead, it gives the strong impression that you are in control, and you are aiming to get back to your normal life and striving to recover to resume working. This will help you overcome the bias and insurance companies will be more willing to pay you so you can afford the best medical care and receive the compensation you deserve.