How to Write a Letter Requesting Information
Throughout the workers’ compensation process you will frequently need to write letters requesting information from health care professionals, your claims adjuster, a broker and more.
Letter writing is a lost art. And, contrary to popular opinion, writing well is NOT easy.
14 Writing Tips:
1. USE SPELL CHECK! for obvious misspellings, but . . .
2. READ FOR CONTENT! Since spell-check won’t pick up – deer for dear, Or notice if you use “its” for “it’s,” meaning “it is.”
3. Be clear and concise. Say: “Our company has 100 files. We need a plan to review them all.” Not: “Our company has more files than we can handle; over 100, and we don’t know how we are going to get through them all.”
4. Don’t repeat information. You’re not trying to fill column inches. Strive for one page.
5. Write in the active voice: Say: “Our medical director reviews the files.” Not: “The medical director will be reviewing the files.”
6. Avoid: THIS, THAT AND WHICH. Say: “My book is on the table.” Not: “This is my book which is on that table.”
7. A trick to avoid using “that” is to employ the gerund ing. Say: “. . . gather information including name and address.” Not: “. . . gather information that includes name and address.”
8. Remember: People are “who” or “whom” not “that” or “which.” It’s: “The employees who. . .” Not: “The employees that/which went . . .”
9. Punctuations ALWAYS goes inside of quotation marks: “Here is my book.” Not “Here is my book”.
10. Consider using a form. Tables with “to” “from” “subject” and “date” look professional and keep information crystal clear.
11. Use professional language at all times. This is not the time for emoticons or personal references.
12. Spell out abbreviations on the first reference, even when you are sure your recipient knows them. You never know who else may handle your letter, including new employees, interns or temps.
13. Always include time, date, your name and title, telephone numbers and email address.
14. While emailing an attachment of your letter is the conventional method these days, sending a hard copy in the mail isn’t a bad idea, especially when requesting sensitive information or documents.
For those who aren’t gifted writers, Workers Comp Kit offers sample letters and formatted documents with the proper language. Communication in workers’ compensation is critical. Writing letters and documents requires care and professionalism. (workersxzcompxzkit).
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws are different. Consult with your corporate legal counsel before implementing any cost containment programs.
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