Request Legal Help Now - Free
LAWSUITS NEWS & LEGAL INFORMATION

"Thanks to Unum, I Crashed Before the Recession"

. By
Amarillo, TXSharon wonders if you have to be on your death bed to collect long term disability benefits from Unum. First she had a skin disease then her kidneys shut down. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, lung disease and more. She has also been in the hospital 9 times with pneumonia. Yet Unum Provident only paid her short term disability benefits, denying she was sick.

Insurance Victim"I had worked at a hospital for 20 years and they had Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage as part of the employee package," Sharon explains. " I paid for my own short term disability (STD), and both policies were bought through Unum, also known as Unum Provident. I got sick at the end of 1998; I couldn't move and put on 90 lbs of fluid within 45 days because of my kidney problems. In other words, I was really sick and couldn't go back to work. Anyway I claimed my STD in January 1999 and Unum paid my benefits for 6 months. I tried to get LTD but Unum refused to pay. They said I wasn't sick!

I first claimed inability to work due to kidney problems, extreme fatigue and a lot more, but at that time I hadn't been diagnosed with anything specific. It took 2 years for my doctor to determine that I had rheumatoid arthritis.

During that time I sent all my medical records to Unum's independent medical examiner; they basically ignored my doctor reports and all the lab reports. When I finally got the diagnosis, I appealed my claim and a local lawyer tried to help me but he was unable to do anything. Finally I was referred to a lawyer here in Amarillo for mediation.

I was called to the mediation and as soon as I entered the room it was obvious that I could barely walk. Still Unum said that I wasn't sick. But they had copies of all my medical records. I believe they just wanted me out of their hair; they had to do something so I got a pay-out—about 1/10th of what they owe. It was decided in mediation that Unum would pay $60,000 for a one-time payment and I wouldn't receive any benefits.

My income was about $65,000 a year at the hospital and Unum is supposed to pay half of that. Then I received a letter in 2006 from Unum saying they owed me more benefits—after the settlement--but three weeks later I received another letter. Unum said it had researched the contract in mediation and they determined that I am not owed any more benefits.

I applied for social security when Unum denied my LTD and I began to receive social security benefits; they recognized right away that I was disabled. I didn't have any income for 18 months and had to pay all my medical bills out-of-pocket. I am a single mother and my children tried to help me financially but it has been a terrible hardship. I phoned Unum so many times and told them I was desperate but my calls fell on deaf ears. They are heartless.

In retrospect I wish that I had taken the appeal to court. I believe the judge would have made Unum step up to the plate and do the right thing—pay my benefits for as long as I am disabled, up to the age of my retirement. If they did the right thing I would have been able to maintain some semblance of a decent lifestyle, at least maintain some assets. I am 63 years old and I get less than $20,000 per year from social security. I had $10,000 in savings, a 401K and my own home—all gone: Thanks to Unum, I crashed even before the recession."

READ ABOUT UNUM LAWSUITS

ADD YOUR COMMENT ON THIS STORY

Fields marked * are mandatory. Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

*Name:

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

*Email Address:

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.
*Your Comment:

Are you the defendant or a subject matter expert on this topic with an opposing viewpoint? We'd love to hear your comments here as well, or if you'd like to contact us for an interview please submit your details here.


Click to learn more about LawyersandSettlements.com
Request Legal Help Now! - Free