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Unum’s Charitable Donations Sure to Infuriate Policyholders’ Denied Disability Benefits

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New York, NYLast month, Unum, or Unum Provident reported that it contributed $3 million in 2014 to non-profit organizations in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. As well, Unum employees volunteered thousands of hours to “their favorite local causes.” No doubt this infuriates disabled policyholders who were denied their Unum long-term disability benefits.

And perhaps all that volunteer work partially explains why policyholders who have been denied disability benefits complain that they can never speak to an Unum representative. The company said employees in Unum’s Chattanooga office alone volunteered 23,000 hours of their time and its Worcester office volunteered 8,603 hours of time.

The Timesfreepress.com (Feb. 24) reported that Steve Joseph, senior vice president for Unum said, “As a company, one of our core values is a strong commitment to social responsibility. I’m grateful our employees share that commitment and give so freely with their time and financial resources to organizations that help others and have a meaningful impact in the areas we call home.”

Hey Unum, how about spreading your time and financial resources to the people who you are supposed to insure? Policyholders who have been denied long-term disability have certainly been impacted by Unum. Many people who became disabled only have Social Security benefits to rely on.

Back in 2008, the New York Times reported that Unum lawsuits were filed after forcing people to repeatedly apply for Social Security disability benefits. Unum and Cigna, another huge insurer, threatened people that their insurance payments would be cut off if they didn’t do so.

And by making claimants apply for Social Security, Unum would not have to pay their benefits, which means more profits for the insurance company. A pittance of those profits no doubt went to Unum’s favorite non-profit organizations.

Further, those 2008 lawsuits claimed that many Social Security applications were questionable, and forcing taxpayers to pay needless processing costs, according to the Times. People whose applications are rejected are entitled to appeal their cases by an administrative law judge, but administrative courts have a huge backlog, so disabled people are left with no means of support.

This reporter has spoken with a number of Unum policyholders who became disabled and were forced to sell their homes and move in with friends or family. One family was living in a cheap motel after their home went into foreclosure.

Unum, how about giving them some charitable support?

A decade ago, the Department of Labor investigated Unum’s practices and demanded that the company cease its unfair claim denial tactics. Besides forcing its policyholders to apply for Social Security and knowing those claimants would be ineligible for benefits according to its policies, Unum also threatened its policyholders with severe benefit payment reductions if they didn’t apply.

And in 2002, CBS News’ 60 Minutes famously investigated Unum regarding its bad faith tactics. According to dozens of policyholders LawyersandSettlements has interviewed in the 12 or so years since, not much has changed.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

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I have been on Unum long-term disability for 25 months now. I am unable to work due to severe arthritis in my knee and doctors are unwilling to do a replacement because I am only in my 30's. So far, Unum has been excellent at paying my claim on time, with a relatively few number of "we'd like you to go back to work" now calls. I have only had to go into one independent evaluation--although why they think a physical therapist is more qualified to evaluate knee conditions than an orthopedic surgeon is beyond me. Unfortunately, my policy stipulates that they have to pay me for two years if I cannot work in my current job and then they can evaluate whether I can work in *any* job. Since I cannot even sit at a desk for more than 20 minutes without my knee swelling up, I am completely unable to work. However, I expect they will try to take this opportunity to terminate my benefits. They have already informed me that they expect to reach this conclusion, so I am nervously awaiting their phone call informing me that they expect me to return to work. It may never come, but we will see. After that, I expect to be shopping around for a lawyer.

Posted by

on
Unum is also my LTD insurer. Lawyers and Settlements frequently posts articles by Linda Nee who is a Disability consultant. I hired Linda to manage my claim due to her articles on this website. She saved my claim from problems numerous times. Thank you to Lawyers and Settlements !!!!

Posted by

on
I was denied by Unum. I appealed and they told me that the statute of limitations had run out.

Posted by

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They would pay you when they felt like it, holding disability payments for 8-10 weeks when they had all of the paperwork needed. I was forced to go to a food bank for food because my checks were not sent. this company is the worst when it has to take care of their clients and they should not be able to have a business licence.

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