Robert worked as maintenance coordinator at an assisted living center. "We had to move a resident's heavy bureau but it was so old the leg came off," says Robert. "I pulled the entire right side of my body." He had x-rays at hospital (no broken bones) and later had a MRI. Robert's doctor determined he needs surgery on his shoulder and possibly his back. And on doctor's orders, he can't lift any more than 10 pounds.
"I haven't been able to return to work since getting injured in February," says Robert. "I've been going to therapy and after six months I applied to Unum for long term disability. I wasn't covered for short term disability but I did get unemployment insurance.
Not long after I filed, an Unum representative, Jennifer, called. She asked what I did in my spare time and I told her the truth: I own an appliance repair business but can't work there anymore so my son has taken over and I stay at home writing my fourth novel—I told her that I sold two previous novels but many years ago. Jennifer requested the last two years of my doctor visits and medications to determine this wasn't a prior injury. That was it.
I didn't hear back from Jennifer so I called Unum about 45 days later; they still hadn't verified my medical records. I phoned my doctor and asked what the holdup was all about. Unum hadn't even called!
I had all my doctor reports and prescription history faxed directly to me and faxed them to Unum three weeks ago. No reply.
I phoned Jennifer again on September 22nd. She said the hold up is because I am a writer and I own a business. But I don't get income from either. She said I can't be disabled if I can write-- I shouldn't have told her.
'Can you write on a laptop?' she asked. 'Yes, but what does writing have to do with my disability?' I asked. 'You are able to move your arm,' she said. 'But I never claimed that my arm was injured—three doctors have verified it is my shoulder and my elbow and back,' I replied.
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I also told Jennifer that I can move my arm but I can't pick up anything more than 10 pounds—doctor's orders. My pencil weighs about a gram. I was up-front with this woman. If I tell her I go to the bathroom by myself, will she hold that against me too?
I just read online how Unum denies policy holders for any reason at all. I realized that was happening to me; I haven't contacted them since and every day I'm checking the mail, waiting for my denial letter.
Why did I bother taking out an insurance policy? You buy insurance in case something like this happens—never expecting it will happen to you—but I just put money in their pockets. How can they deny my medical reports?"