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"If You're Dealing with Unum, Get a Lawyer—ASAP"

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Seneca, SC"I welcome this opportunity to tell people who have a policy with Unum Health Insurance to get a lawyer on your side right away, before you get disabled," says Roger, "because I know firsthand that Unum will try just about anything to 'hoodoo' you and deny your benefits.

"I hope that I can maybe help someone else down the road by warning them about this company. I made a mistake and didn't call an attorney until it was too late—now I have to pay back three years of long-term disability benefits to Unum because I got social security benefits."

Can Unum legally require that Roger pay back $30,000? Roger says that the giant health provider is supposed to be paying him $238 per month; instead they cut him off once his social security benefits kicked in.

"Every policy holder has due process based on their documents and you have to be very careful with the appeals process in your policy," says attorney Greg Jones. "Any time limits are binding on the individual—it could be as early as 30 days, or even 120 days, depending upon Unum's contract." Jones adds that Unum often advises or asks the policy holder to file for social security benefits!

"Again, depending upon your payout and dates of disability, you may be entitled to so many years of Unum's benefits and maybe only one year of social security," says Jones, "but Unum and social security don't always equal out dollar to dollar or date to date."

Obviously it's complicated. "It says nothing in my Unum policy book that I have to pay back my benefits if I collect social security," says Roger. "I read over it with a fine tooth comb." Roger is right—ask an attorney to go over your policy, before you need to collect short-term and/or long-term benefits. Roger is struggling financially and believes he won't get "one red cent out of Unum."

"In my opinion Unum hoodwinked me because they are supposed to pay long-term benefits until I am 65 years old, regardless whether I am getting social security benefits," says Roger, who is now 58 and living in a double-lot trailer. He is also living with multiple sclerosis and brain tumors. "Fortunately I had everything paid for when I became disabled but it's really hard to live on social security alone. I worked for Dunlop for 28 years. When I got sick they were in the process of shutting down and moving to Malaysia so I lost my pension plan when they pulled out of the US, and as you can imagine, I'm not the only one. So I was really counting on Unum…

"I was getting over $1,000 per month from Unum. It took me three years to get my social security benefits (Social Security denied me at first and kept sending me to their doctors, but with the help of an attorney, I got three years of back pay). As soon as Social Security notified Unum, I got the phone call.

"The Unum claims person asked me if I got my social security payment and she asked how much I got. I got a lump sum of $28,000 but I had to pay my lawyer and child support so I had about $12,000 left over. 'Well we are going to stop your payments until you pay us $30,000 that you owe us, so we will deduct $238 per month,' she said. I have no idea how they arrived at this amount but I will have them paid back by May 2012.

"I hate to see someone else fall into this trap. Since this happened to me I have seen quite a few lawsuits against Unum—they will hoodoo you if they can."

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I worked for a school district doing construction and matainance for many years and became 100% disabled after having a massive heart attack and developing heart failure ..My heart function was 45% and I also had a diffibulator implanted in my chest in case my heart stops ..My heart failure was getting worse and my heart function was dropping ..Unum is constantly wanting updated reports and wanting me to go back to work or school ..A Unum representative called me the day after seeing my heart doctors , the doctors informed me my heart function had dropped to 28%..I was devastated and scared .. The Unum representative said he had " in his hand " a letter from my doctors releasing me back to work !! I knew he was lying and immediately called my doctor who said they where lying ..I called back the Unum representative and told him I wanted two copies of the letter from my doctors , he asked why two copies ? I told him one for MY LAWYER and one for my doctors LAWYER ...He actually told me over the phone " You wanna play that fucking game " ??( His exact words ) I assured him this was no F_ing Game ! I contacted the School District that I had worked for for many years and told them what was going on , they connected me with a " Local " Unum Representative which I spoke with ..Needless to say I got a phone call and apology from the Unum Representative who cussed me ..They actually tried to commit FRAUD with FAKE doctor notes ...Unum WILL make your life a living hell ..

Posted by

on
I'm getting a lawsuit settlement from a company for lost wages. Can Unim count that as an income or with hold benefits at all for this?

Posted by

on
June 2, 2015

I just applied UNUM and after reading all the negative comments about them I am wondering if I did the right thing.

I selected the Whole Life insurance at $20 a week for Benefit Amount: $74,874.00.

Can anyone give some information on how this whole thing works.

For example: Can I collect my money after, let say 5 years and cancel it? Such as the interest it gained.

Thank you

Posted by

on
Hi, I worked for Colonial Life/Unum for 13 years. In July 2012, I had to leave the company do to some illnesses that was preventing me from working. Someone from UNUM head quarters came down to SC and sat down with me and said, why not take some time off and apply for short term until you can find out what is going on. I was given a caseworker who called me every month to make sure I was still having issues. Well in Jan 2013 I was put on Long Term disability, and I was told that I will be receiving a check every month until the age of 65 years old. I was also told that I would be getting a new caseworker, and I would be getting a call from The Advocator Group that will help me apply for full disability. My case worker called me every month or every other month to get updates. I also received letters from UNUM constantly stating if they did not get updated records from the doctors I was seeing, they would have to stop my Long Term Disability. (to get a letter all the time telling me that was very stressful, b/c no matter how you felt, or if you could get around, it was your responsibility to get that to them) I asked questions all the time about my case. I always asked would I get back pay, I was told depends on the Judge and SSDI. Well, I was denied 3 times for full disability. so, I was appointed an attorney at no cost to me from Advocator group to go in front of a judge to plead my case. I also updated my caseworker constantly about any new surgeries, procedures, and or any new diagnoses. I asked my caseworker one time, if I do not get awarded full disability, what happens. She said, "you will not have to reimburse us for any cost, and you will continue to receive a check until you are the age of 65 years of age, but you will continue to be sent letters and receive phone calls getting updates and making sure you are still seeing specialist and or doctors."
Well, after struggling with all my illnesses, (I have had 2 holes repaired in my heart, MVP and heart murmur, I have had 2 back surgeries, I have had 2 leg ablations, I have High narcolepsy, I was diagnosed by the MAYO Clinic with degenerative disc and joint disease, 5 bulging disc lower back, several cyst near my upper spine (which I receive injections for), I have had an esophagus and Hiatal hernia repair, I was diagnosed with Pancreatic Insufficiency Enzymes disease, Chronic IBS with Chronic Diarrhea, I have a brain aneurysm, a spleenic artery aneurysm, Pelvic Dysfunctia, extreme leg and back pain, severe stomach problems, and now just found out I have early stages of Glaucoma in both eyes and Optic Nerve Disc in my left eye. I finally was awarded Full Disability and Medicare. I called the Advocator group told them, called UNUM and told them and they said just wait and UNUM will be in touch. Well, a man calls from UNUM, starts telling me that I owe UNUM $31,482.00, and said that UNUM overpaid me and that is why it is so much. I was flabbergasted. He was also rude about it, and I started crying because they wanted all $31,430.00 back pay that I was awarded and then some. The judge awarded this to me, he retro-ed it back all the way to July 25th 2012. I hung up on him, one because he was very rude and two because I was about to have a panic attack.
I do not understand how they can do that. I am paying 20 hospital bills at $20.00 a piece, I am paying for health insurance , which will stop, but will have to pay for vision and dental still. I have a house, a car, a child that is special needs, and it is just so unfair. If anyone can tell me that they are not correct in doing this, I sure would like to know before I give them this money. Thank you for reading. GOD Bless

Posted by

on
I was a former UNUM employee. It took me 2 years to finally be approved for LTD benefits. I was put through hell with this company.
After being approved for SSDI I had to pay back $13000 to UNUM.
There is no communication from anyone I feel like I have been forgotten.
They actually sent an investigator to my home to make sure I was not filing a false claim.

Posted by

on
I filed a claim with Unum early this year and was approved right away. I began receiving my benefits in a timely fashion from Unum and receive monthly calls from one of the Unum persons who is monitoring my condition.
The only thing that I am not clear on, is if I have to apply for SSDI payments later in the future, after 12 months of receiving Unum benefits or if unum will continue paying me till I am 65 years of age?
I have been told that Unum will incourage you to apply for disability with SSA and will pay any difference in the amount that may not be the total they are paying out.
I guess I will find out later on and report back if they pull something funny over me. For now, I was glad that I had paid for the disability plan with Unum, as it is paying out monthly and this helps while I am recovering at home.

Posted by

on
I can't find anything online about my question. My wife was approved ssdi with the help of a lawyer in june 2012. During this time She was appealing her unum denial. She filed her initial unum claim in august 2011. As of this week she was notified that her unum claim she filled last year has been approved. Question are.

Will unum have to pay her from the time of her initial claim?
Will unum pay her back her attorney fees that she had to pay?

Their is no offset in this case because she wasn't receiving anything from unum during this time. She started receiving ssdi before she was approve for the unum claim.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

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