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North Carolina Man Claims He Was Denied Unum Disability Benefits

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Banner Elk, NCA Banner Elk, North Carolina man claims that he did not receive the Unum disability benefits he was entitled to after his doctor said he had recovered from a surgery that allegedly had not fully healed.

According to WSOC-TV Charlotte, John Hilley—a custom furniture manufacturer—claims he has been unable to work since last September due to a broken bone in his right ankle suffered in a motorcycle accident.

Hilley, who said that his ankle becomes swollen after standing on it for more than one hour, told the news source that he had been receiving $3,000 in disability benefits from Unum Group each month. However, Unum allegedly cut off the man's benefits last May, when Hilley's surgeon told the insurance provider that he had fully recovered.

Hilley, though, says that his ankle had not healed, and decided to seek a second opinion from a doctor, who took an X-ray of his ankle. After receiving the X-ray, Hilley says that it appeared a screw was not properly placed, which is preventing his ankle from healing properly.

After reportedly asking Unum to revisit his claim due to the evaluation and X-ray conducted by the second doctor, Hilley claims he was unable to get a straight answer.

"They kept telling me, 'We're in review, we're in review, we're in review,'" Hilley told the news source. "I went all the way to top management (and) he kept telling me, 'We're in review.'"

Hilley said that the lack of disability benefits and no income added up, causing him to become depressed.

When the news source contacted Unum, a spokesperson with the company reportedly said that the insurance provider was still awaiting information from Hilley's doctors and attempting to bring the case toward a resolution.

Eventually, Hilley finally received some good news, as Unum sent him a check covering back payments to May. The North Carolina native said that he would be able to put the money toward paying off some of his bills, but added that he was also hoping a new surgery would allow him to continue making custom furniture, according to the news source.

Unum Group provides disability, long-term care and group life benefits, and has been in business for more than 160 years, according to the company's website. A number of lawsuits have been filed in the past against the insurance provider, often claiming that the company did not provide sufficient benefits to people who had suffered injuries but had not fully recovered.


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