"In 2006 I had several surgeries to treat a back injury," says Steve. "I returned to work as an operating room nurse and everything was fine, until I suffered a rapid onset of pain that caused my foot to drag. I constantly fell down and I was in such severe pain that I couldn't work any longer.
"It's so distasteful, the way they decide not to pay people—especially twisting everything into pre-existing conditions""Unum really gave me the run-around. At first they "lost" my claim, so I applied to social security and I was immediately approved. Then Unum sent me a letter stating that since social security approved me, there was no reason to get benefits from Unum.
"All along, Unum concentrated on a neck injury of mine, saying that would not cause foot drop. They ignored all the doctor's tests regarding my back problems, which did cause the drop foot. I have pointed out my back injury to Unum in numerous letters and calls but they won't address the issue.
"Although Unum has talked to my doctors, they managed to summarize my diagnosis inaccurately. They are not asking about my back injuries, only my neck. My doctors have documented my back injury and sent Unum all the reports—ignored again.
"My second appeal has been denied, so now I'm trying to find a lawyer to take my case to court. I figure Unum owes me at least $300,000. If I can't find a lawyer, I will have to take Unum to court myself, but I don't think that will fly too well because of course I'm not legally trained and I'll be up against their team of lawyers.
"Meanwhile, I've gone bankrupt, I've lost my home and I'm saddled with an inaccurate diagnosis from Unum.
"I talked to my insurance agent, who used to work for Unum. He said he quit because it's so distasteful, the way they decide not to pay people—especially twisting everything into pre-existing conditions—and they will devise so many tactics not to pay."
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As a result, Unum says it will review the claim of any insured covered under a fully-insured, group disability policy regulated by the state of New York and denied because of a pre-existing condition between June 28, 2004 and June 27, 2007.