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Attorneys for Unum Disability Claims

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Our disability attorneys have represented hundreds of disabled claimants with their Unum disability claim and/or denial of disability insurance benefits.

Despite Unum’s checkered past and damaged reputation our law firm has obtained disability payments for more than 99% of our Unum clients.

Unum, formerly known as Paul Revere, Provident, and then Unum Provident is the world’s largest disability insurance company with approximately 10,000 employees.

How Much Do You Know About Unum? We Have A Lot To Share With You.

In order to effectively represent our clients, it is essential that our lawyers know everything about Unum. We also think it is important that our clients and potential clients know as much as possible about Unum.

To learn about the way Unum handles disability claims we encourage you to review the following free information about Unum on our website:

We Have Extensive Experience With Unum Disability Claims And Denials

Our extensive history of filing numerous lawsuits against Unum has given us the opportunity to have a great understanding of their internal operations and claims handling tactics.

We are available to help you with your Unum short term and long term disability claim at either the application stage, continuance of claim, ERISA appeal, lawsuit, or a lump-sum buyout.

It is our job to make sure that Unum pays you the disability benefits you are entitled to receive.

There are 188 opinions so far. Add your comment or complaint now.

Mary Deleprdang:

I have long term disability with Unum Insurance and they sent me a letter saying they are reviewing my disability. I was in an automobile accident and broke my neck and had to have surgery. They put two rods and a plate in my neck that are about 10 inches long down my spine. I have severe nerve damage and backk pain tht causes a lot of pain and I am on a neurontin daily for it. What do you think my chances are of keeping the long term disability with them. I really can not work and need the money to live on.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Mary, please contact our office and we will provide you with a free initial phone consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

Debra Gibson:

It appears that UNUM is trying to intimidate me or strong ARM me. They closed my case because I didn’t give them the information they requested. My reason being I felt they were dirty because after having my stroke. I let a representative come to the house to check me out. I gave him the stroke information. A copy of my award letter from SSDI resulting them reducing my income from 1500 to 151 aproximately. I signed a paper for them to keep the 151 dollars. They want me to pay them back for $4994.01 by 4/18/11. Giving me two options to pay. Neither of them making it easy knowing I receive $1476 a month. No medical insurance until 2012 so I have to pay out of the pocket for medicines and doctors visits. I haven’t contacted them because I know it’s going to make my blood pressure go up and I don’t want to die like that. If I knew at the beginning that I had to pay back any money. I signed a paper in 9/09. It didn’t click because I felt despair to receive income to pay some bills. Later after speaking with other people then realizing that if they give me money for two years and I have to pay that back. It would be probably be $20,000 or more. That’s why that lady didn’t want me to apply for SSDI. I did it anyway. I don’t understand the game they play in the insurance industry. I take the blame for my ignorance for signing with them. I need help fighting the big bad wolf. I’m waiting for them to sue me.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Debra, most ERISA governed policies have an offset for an award of SSDI payments. Most claimants do not realize that they may be required to pay back the SSDI benefits to the disability company if they are awarded SSDI. There are some cases around the country that suggest that a disability insurance company can not recover an overpyament from an insured. Take a look at Unum has no right to recover $207,894.88 overpayment of long term disability benefits to attorney.

Brooklyn Mama:

I have been receiving compensation as per a paid policy through a former employer for about nine years now. I am constantly required to verify my handicap still exists and I think its insane. Its a hardship mentally especially to hear the doctor say not only won’t I be eligible to work again but that I will suffer pain for the rest of my life due to an traumatic crush injury sustained in a car accident in late 2001.

I applied for SSD and was at first denied but after several appeals was given a partially favorable award in 2008. I appealed this denial and was dissapproved by final order of the Commissioner of SSA. I have recently been sent a new evaluation form from Unum that basically is asking them permission to check on the status of Social Security cases pending or else they will reduce my amount by a conservative estimate.

At first Unum erroneously deducted an absurd amount from the award which included benefits for my child. I had to call it to their attention and received an answer some time afterwards.

My issue is the contract for services is if I am injured, I receive a portion of my earnings, I am not asking for anything outside of this contract.

Who signs for the Social Security reduction, my employer or myself? I wasn’t made aware there was one or what it meant. Can they produce a copy of the contract where it proves I did sign for it?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Brooklyn Mama, a social security offset can only be deducted if your disability plan contains language allowing for it.

Stuck in a tough place:

After being forced into an early retirement for an injury obtained on the job, I was placed on long term disability with Unum by my employer and forced to resign. I was fortunate that I had a supplemental pension that paid a portion of my salary that supplemented my “benefit” paid by Unum, thereby giving me a salary that allowed me to not lose my home and continue to pay my bills. I also was able to find work that basically allowed me to provide for my family at the same level we have been living at for the last twenty years.

One day two years after “retiring”, I received a phone call asking me to verify that I was indeed receiving a benefit from my supplemental work pension. This information had been provided to Unum on at least three previous contacts and letters from my pension provider. Unum had been given written documentation stating the amounts, dates and conditions. Unum has now contacted me and after reviewing my case has determined that I have been overpaid to the tune of over $50,000.
This decision is due to the fact my pension is now a deductabile source of income and in their words, “they dropped the ball”… “this was an oversight on their part” and they now need to fix the situation.

Do I have a leg to stand and say your fault, your problem, or do I plunge myself deeper into debt and ruin my familiy’s life further?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Stuck in a tough place: the answer to your question depends on the terms of your disability policy. I have seen many group disability insurance policies which consider pension benefits to be a deductible source of income.


I have short term disability through Unum. I have filled out the forms they requested and so has my surgeon. They are denying my claim saying that their Dr’s and nurses decided I could have returned to work in half the time that my Dr. had me out of work for. I have called and spoken to several people there, they do not rreturn phone calls, they made me provide them with ALL of my medical records for the procedure and before, and they are still denying my claim. I am frustrated and sickened every time I have to deal with this. Is there anything that I can do?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Laurel, Unum should have sent a short term disability denial letter explaining the reason for denying your disability claim. The letter should also explain your right to file an appeal. You must comply with the appeal timeline provided in the Unum denial letter. You should also send a written request for the claim file from Unum. If you would like for us to review our denial, please fax 888-776-3876 or email us your denial letter and policy. We will contact you upon receipt to discuss your options.

Renee Lynne Clay:

UNIUM/UNUM are bold face liars and cheats. They stall on purpose so they do not have to part with their money. Their money comes from hard working men and women who believed their con message. Where can we read about the whistle blower case? How many doctors are suing them? How come the federal government knows about their tactics and does nothing to protect the people who have been hurt by them. How come a “nurse” at UNIUM/UNUM decides my case? I am now losing my car and my apartment due to their stalling and lies. Destroy UNUM now!!!


I have an UNUM LTD policy. I am totally disabled based on many reasons. I am able to work about 30 hours per MONTH as a self-employed attorney out of my house. Strictly transactional work. UNUM recently tried to reduce my benefits based on their misunderstanding of my prior year taxes. They did so w/o notice except an after the fact letter. I challenged their decision with my CPA and UNUM agreed it was wrong. Today I received a telephone call from them saying they have reduced my monthly benefits because I earned to much during the last six months and I owe them about $4.5K. Thet will taked 1/6th out of my next six checks. Again, this was done without prior notice except a phone call today telling me they did it and it was coming out of the check being issued tomorrow. I had no other notice or opportunity to challenge their decision except via an after the fact appeal. Is this a normal practice that I have to accept? Also in calculating my net income per month they added back all the life and health insurance payments I deducted as business expenses. Is this normally allowed? Thanks.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Bowser, unfortunately it is normal practice for Unum to send a letter either reducing or denying benefits without any notice. As you mentioned, you do have the right to challenge their decision. You are entitled to receive Unum’s position in writing. Your question about life and health insurance benefits depends on how you reported your income and how your disability policy calculates income. Please contact us privately if you would like assistance in dealing with Unum.

Peter Perez:

Since I am currently receiving STD payments from UNUM I, like others, am in constant fear that my coverage is going to end. So… a question that I have is: “If UNUM chooses to discontinue benefits, how much notice is given to the insured?”.

Additionally, how can I request an examination by one of their physicians, as well as request a copy of all of my medical records, surveillance reports, etc.?

Attorney Greg Dell:


Unfortunately, Unum is not required to provided any advance notice of a denial of benefits. Generally a letter will be sent stating that no more checks will be sent and you can appeal the disability benefit denial. If your claim is denied you can request a complete copy of your entire file.

Angry Manager:

I just received a letter statingntheir decision to deny my claim was final. I had a medial sternomoty (cut sternum completely to remove a mass in my chest then wire back together) in June and UNUM says I should be back. A work after only 3week post op, my doctor says I need to be out at least 8 weeks. Why do companies use this company? I have been with them for more than 10years and this is how you are treated. So I am on pain meds 3 times a day and they want me back at work, not sure they want the liability.

Scott Smith:

Hi Gregory,

In January 2011, during open enrollment, I signed up for Unum’s Long Term Disability Insurance. When I took out the policy I was very up front about my (25 year) pre-existing condition, explaining that I may not be able to work until retirement age due to a back issue (I’m 52). I even went so far as to call Unum and confess my condition. I explained that this would be the primary reason for taking out the policy. Everyone assured me that my condition would be covered. Unfortunately, I have no proof of this conversation.

Recently, a neighbor who is a retired insurance broker told me that it is not likely that they would cover a pre-existing condition. Can you explain how the 3 months prior/12 months after “Pre-existing Condition Exclusion” works? Might my pre-existing condition NOT be covered?

Attorney Greg Dell:


The language of a pre-existing condition provision can be written differently in each disability policy. I can not answer your question about the Unum Pre-existing condition provision unless I reviewed your exact policy language.


UNUM has paid me 60% of my income for the past 5 years. I worked 1 day/week (prior to glioblastoma brain tumor I was full time). My job was eliminated and after 6 months of no employement, almost insisted that I apply to social security. I did but was denied. They insisted that now i needed to go back after SS and gave me Genex as a representative on that. I was then APPROVED of SS and I understood that from Oct. 2009 through present that money would go back to UNUM. I agreed on that. Shortly after approval of SS, the local SS person called to talk about my children and their potential benefits. 3 of my children were approved. NOW UNUM says that I have to give them my CHILDRENS’ money. This was never mentioned to me and for that matter before SS sent me letters I didn’t even know my kids could be eligible.

Attorney Greg Dell:


Unfortunately, in most UNUM disability policies there is language that allows them to offset your disability benefits for any social security disability benefits that are received by either you or your children as a result of your disability.


My employers asked me to take medical leave due to fibromayalgia. I was in pain, had brain fog and had trouble working full days. I am a Sr. Vice President with a financial company. Being able to think and be in charge are primary parts of my job. I was able to find a doctor that treated me for food allergies and I am back to work as functional member of our company. UNUM has denied my claim. Stating that I was not disabled. I was unable to do the primary duties of my job. This company is a scam.


I have been receiving disability payments from UNUM since 2006. First my short term disability then I went on to long term disability in 2007. I also receive S.S.D. and have been since 2008. I just received a phone call from UNUM stating that my claim was being closed due to the fact that they determined that I could do sedentary work. My physical condition has not gotten better, It has gotten worse since my claim was approved. I suffer from extreme depression, PTSD, cronic pancreatitis (with stent implant), malabsorption (with major weight, strength, and energy loss), seizure disorder, diabetis, cronic diarrhea (with leakage). I take large amounts of pain medication daily because of the pancreas. My condition is not ever going to improve. How can they just close my claim without any kind of medical exam, or update from my doctor? What do you suggest I do? They said I could appeal their decision.

Attorney Greg Dell:


We are sorry to hear about your UNUM disability benefit denial. Your only option right now is to file an appeal within the 180 days they provided. Please contact us at 800-828-7583 so we can review your denial letter and determine if you have a claim that we can assist you with. We will provide you with a free evaluation of your claim and discuss your options.

Mason Quinn:

I’m a 25 year old single father of a 3 year old. 5 months ago I went into heart failure and had to have 2 surgeries to save my life. One through my leg, the other was openheart… After 4 months my son accidently headbutted me and my 8 inch scare down my sternum got inflamed and I was hurting allot again. My surgeon said I should take an extra 5 weeks off (which still landed me under the 6 months of short-term). Unum now has refused to pay the $495 x 5 weeks they now owe me and said there is no medical evidence I should be payed any of it. I have blown all my savings on bills and trying to stay up to date on bills. I owe rent, bills, car payment and just went on default on my 401k loan (now I own 3k in taxes in a couple months) since they wouldn’t give me any money… Costco’s corporate team and my surgeon said its absolute “bs” and I should sue. My surgeon also said he has given them everything they asked for and more and his word as one for the most outstanding heart surgeons on the NW should of been sufficient.


I was denied a claim by Unum after being told by my doctor that I had to be in assisted living home for six months after almost dying from Pancreatitis. All the paperwork was signed off properly by my Primary Care Physician and the records still exist in the office of the assisted living home which shows denial by Unum.

After reading the horror stories that others, like myself, have experienced I can only believe that this company is a complete Fraud. I am now going to contact my Senator (he lives only 8 miles from me) to have Congressional investigation of this company. The Wall Street Journal published a list of companies that would not pay their claims and Unum was second after Allstate.


I have been on Unum’s long term disability since Sept. 2009. Despite the ridiculous attempts they make to find reasons to deny a person, I have been getting my benefits. In Sept. of 2011 I was awarded a fully favorable award from SSDI – and I was aware that it would be an offset and that I would have to pay back my lump sum. With that said, my ex-wife got the benefits awarded to my children as they do not live with me. Unum is now demanding I pay them a retro payment that includes the money that went to my ex-wife! How can they hold me responsible for money I did not receive? They also want to reduce my monthly benefit by the amount my ex receives for the children! How can I be held responsible for money I don’t get?


Hi. Thank you for your time.

UNUM closed my long-term disability claim, without cause about a year ago. I fought them with an appeal’s letter, and won, sort-of. They took nine months to make a decision whether to reinstate my claim, upon which, I lost my home and my credit was ruined by then.

Here’s the catch: my claim was reinstated, for a mental condition (because I have been on anti-depressants for years – way before I even worked and became disabled). I am physically disabled. I was in a car accident and had to have surgery on my cervical spine, causing nerve damage, and life-time chronic pain.

Well, UNUM is trying to pay out only 24 months of benefits because they are saying it is a mental disability, in which, their policy only has to pay out for that amount of time. It is seriously a bunch of nonsense! I am not a stupid person. I was never released to go back to work in the first place. They, without cause just terminated my claim, causing me to lose my home, and extreme financial hardship – all of this while going through a divorce and major surgery.

Can I hold them accountable for their actions that caused me to lose my home, as well as all of my emotional turmoil, grief and frustration? My LTD is supposed to end May 2012 if they are allowed to get away with their dishonest, and absurd claim decision?

Bottom line: I did not become disabled mentally. I was on the anti-depressants before my accident. I am disabled physically first and foremost, with the physical pain adding to my depression disorder.

Please help me fight them on this. Thank you so much.

Attorney Greg Dell:


Even though you don’t get the SSDI money, Unum can still deduct it if the money is going to your wife and children as a result of your disability. It is not fair, but it is legal if your Unum disability policy provides for it.

Attorney Greg Dell:


We have handled numerous cases against UNUM dealing with the 2 year mental nervous limitation. If you have a physical disability that prevents you from working, then you may be able to extend benefits beyond two years. In order for us to determine if we can assist you, we need for you to call us in order to arrange a free phone consultation. We will need to review your denial letter and your disability policy.


To whom it may concern:

How is it possible that a large corporation can take the children’s money from SS payments, if the income was not generated while one was under coverage with Unum?

Said is these funs are from SS to help the children and when the insurance company pays disability they get paid from the income one generates, not the whole family, unless they consider all income and pay out the percentage on the complete amount.

Then Social Security claims the insurance company has no right to have access to the children’s funds for survival!

These large companies need to stay out of the children’s accounts with Social Security. They should be ashamed from taking the little these children have for the future.

Greed is an ugly beast an the best thing is to be united. What of the children, is this legal – and there must be a loophole or some way to stop this madness!

The truth is, I have no problem covering my cost but my child Social Security provides this for the children and not for Unum. Also I don’t recall the insurance paying a check for my son’s name and this was 60% of my income, not my family household income.

What’s next – they will just say thanks for the premiums an run with the cash?

If this company is sued and it’s paying fines or settlements, there is no reason to make the disable policy holders and the family pay!

What is this country coming to?

Attorney Greg Dell:


I don’t agree with Unum’s actions of deducting social security payments from your monthly disability benefit, but it is a common practice by all major disability insurance companies. With regard to children SSDI benefits, Unum can only offset those benefits if they are benefits that are being paid as a result of your disability. If your children have their own disabilities, then Unum would not be allowed to deduct the children’s benefits.


Like Bernie, I think this is crazy. In my case, my children do not even live in my home, they live with my ex-wife! The policy says they may take from your spouse or children, but does not specify living outside the home! I think this is a legal grey area that could be challenged in court! The government also has a responsibility to put an end to this practice! Money I do not receive into my home I should not be responsible to repay! How am I supposed to pay the lump sum that went to my ex-wife? The federal government put it in her account, there is no way I could have kept her from spending it! I have had my congressman’s office talking to Unum on my behalf, but honestly how could any judge or jury not agree with my perspective! I mean following Unum’s logic why not hold me responsible for President Obama’s salary as well, after all I never recieved that either!

Attorney Greg Dell:


I agree with your position, but the deciding factor is the policy language. Take a look at the Frequently Asked Question on our website discussing this exact issue: Can a disability insurance company claim an overpayment for social security disability benefits payable to a child as result of the parent’s disability?


In addition to all the others whose claims were fraudulently turned down by Unum, my name could be added. My course of action is to go to my congressman with all these complaints to let them do something about it. The only problem with this is that this current administration is as corrupt as Unum.

Lost and Confused:

I have worked my entire life and in May of 2011 I became ill with seizures, which my doctor can’t determine why and has had me off work since, because they come several times a week and leave me very confused and sore. And my Unum case worker (whom has no heart) said to me people that have seizures work everyday, so what makes you any different? I said because they can’t figure out what’s wrong and the fact that I am having so many of them, my employer feels it’s better that I not work with them until these are under control. She advised me to find another job then… so I asked to speak with her boss, whom I advised of the way she was talking to me and that I was depressed enough without her rude mouth. I advised I had lost my truck and my home since all this. His advice was for me to contact the churches and help offices in my area or to go to ER if i felt like life wasn’t worth living anymore. Can they just talk to you anyway and make you feel useless?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Lost and Confused,

Unum has a responsibility to pay you the benefits that you are contractually entitled to. The claims examiner should be professional and treat you with respect. Most Unum claims examiners act professionally. You should speak to a Unum supervisor if you are receiving poor treatment.

Kay Lorentz:

My son was diagnosed with extra, irregular heartbeats, which are very disruptive to your sleep, frightening, actually, and had a sleep study done to evaluate this condition. Because he could sleep only 3 1/2 hours, due to the disruptive activities occurring, his number attained was 4.6 out of 5. He was denied any paid leave, not even just for a six month leave from his pharmacy technician job. There was one woman in Columbia, SC whose home we found, thinking it was an address for the corporate office in Columbia, but it was a neighborhood a bit strange for such a corporation. She is the one who mails out the Denied Claim letters. She was nice enough to tell us that Colonial Life owns the company, which we didn’t know. We are having to file an appeal due to Unum/Colonial Life’s tricky, devious ways of just dissing you completely. There is a corporate office there, so we will be booking an appointment for the next trip to Columbia. My son’s claim is actually a moderate gross income monthly of $1390 for 30 hours as Pharmacy Tech.. This should be approved and the company would not be in danger over a brief 6 month period. A Health Advocate somehow got onto my phone number, was listening when I was trying to reason with Unum. This is really sad and we will fill the appeal and also contact our Reps and Senators, President Obama and others. We’re praying hard for some real help from Unum very soon.

Helpless in PA:

I was paid from Unum Ltd., I won my disability claim with SSDI and now Unum is saying I have to pay them back. Even my SSDI I received for my kids? I get way less now and I have not received my backpay from SSDI for reasons unknown but do I have to pay this back? What happens if I don’t? I thought this was a policy I paid for and not had to pay back. I live in PA if that helps on rules…

Coca-Cola Driver Merchandiser:

I was insured by Coca Cola Refreshments through Unum, prior to a job related back injury and was denied on February 3, 2012 after my employer insisted that I can not return to my normal occupation due to permanent restrictions!

After the doctor informed them that my restrictions have to be honored, Unum took the term (medium work range) as indicated somewhere on my F.C.E. And stated that my job title fell under medium restrictions! That was their way to deny me compensation for my permanent restrictions that prevent me from returning to work even according to my employer and the doctor with the requirements for the job!

So I agree that Unum has repeatedly abused their obligation to accomodate both injured and sickly claimants to save their company’s money after you have solely invested faith and finances in Unum as your insurer! It’s not over unless you give up!

Attorney Greg Dell:


For the accurate answer to your question, you need to read your disability policy. Please also see the following FAQs on our website, which should answer your questions: Can a long-term disability insurance company claim an overpayment once a claimant is approved for social security disability income benefits? and Can a disability insurance company claim an overpayment for social security disability benefits payable to a child as result of the parent’s disability?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Coca-Cola Driver,

If you claim has been denied by UNUM, then you should appeal in a timely manner and keep fighting. Do not let UNUM play games with you by taking
advantage of one line in a random report.

Young Doc:

I am a Resident Physician who was injured in an auto accident in 2005. UNUM has been paying me a monthly benefit since then, and is supposed to do that for life. They have asked for medical records, first twice a year, then once a year. They also had a private investigator tail me and he asked to visit my home. I refused! They just received medical records from me in October and then called yesterday asking if anything had changed? After telling them how frustrated I was that they continue trying to see if a paralyzed hand will reverse itself, they asked whether I had considered a settlement offer. I said that I did not mind but was concerned about the fact that they stuck me with the taxes when they paid my medical student loans. What can I do about the taxes I was stuck with after they sent a check of $150k to my student loan company? Should I accept a lump sum pay off on a life time policy? How do I determine whether I have been offered a fair amount?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Young Doc,

Unum will continue to monitor you for the rest of your life, especially if you have a lifetime disability benefit policy. There are numerous factors that must be considered when determining whether to accept a lump-sum buyout. Please take a look at our video on lump sum buyouts. If you call us, we will provide you with a free consultation to discuss if a buyout might be right for you. We have negotiated hundreds of Unum Lump Sum buyouts. As attorneys we cannot answer questions about taxes. We highly recommend that you speak with an accountant about any tax questions. You may find one of our frequently asked questions about the tax implications of disability benefits helpful. I can tell you that if your monthly benefit has been taxable, then your lump sum buyout would be taxable.

Kellie McCann:

I have an UNUM policy that is provided by through my employer. My doctor recently took me out of work due to complications with gestational diabetes. I filed a STD claim with UNUM and received a denial letter. The reason for the denial is history of gestational diabetes. I’m confused as what exactly that means, is it the same as a pre-existing condition?

Gestational diabetes is having diabetes only when pregnant and just because you have it with a previous pregnancy doesn’t mean you will have it with subsequent pregnancies. Either way I was never pregnant or had gestational diabetes prior to receiving my UNUM policy.

I’ve been with my company for over 9 years. In 2007 I was pregnant and lost my son due to anencephaly but was never diagnosed with gestational diabetes. In 2008 I again became pregnant and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to be put on insulin. After I gave birth to my daughter, the diabetes was gone. We decided to have another child and we knew that we had an increased risk of getting gestation diabetes again so I lost 20 lb. before getting pregnant in an attempt to avoid getting it again. However, I again got gestational diabetes. This pregnancy has been very hard on me and has made every day activities impossible. My doctor took me out of work when I was 33 weeks pregnant. Is UNUM’s denial valid?

Attorney Greg Dell:


The pre-existing conditions provisions in every disability policy are different. We would need to review your policy and medical records to determine if this Unum Short Term disability denial is valid. From the short facts you have described it sounds like a questionable denial. If you complete our Free Consultation form, then we will contact you to discuss your claim.


I saw the man on Channel 9 complaining about Unum, very sad. People deserve their money. I’m glad Fox 9 helped the poor man to get his money. Must be pretty bad to be on the news. I’m disabled and I will sure stay away from this company.


My aunt is receiving LTD from Unum and SSDI. We understand if she accesses her pension after age 55 (eligible date) and before age 65, her payments from Unum will be reduced by the same amount. Can she access money from her 401k to pay additional living expenses or will that money also be considered income?

Attorney Greg Dell:


The answer to your question depends on the language contained in the Unum disability policy. Without seeing the policy we cannot answer your question. You should ask Unum in writing for their opinion.

Cathy Howard:

I’ve been on LTD with Unum since 2009. It was mental health, due to my Dr. not believing me that my neck and leg hurts. I now have spinal stenosis, a bulging disc. My LTD expires for mental health in April. Surgery is not an option and now I have no medical insurance.

How long does Unum have to give me notice? If I’m awarded SSDI do I have to pay them back?

It all started with a rash valley fever on job site. My Dr. didn’t do proper test. Not believing I was ill, so I gave up for a year. Went to psy and therapist (which she noted illness in every note). Now it’s a waiting game. I have Genex as my disability help, was denied first (which was just mental health, now it worse). Both the mental health Dr. and primary stated I could not work. I’m on 6 500 mg of vicodin and 3 flexaral along with anxiety and cymbalta.

Attorney Greg Dell:


If you were awarded SSDI it is likely you will need to pay back the funds you receive for any overpayment. If your LTD expires for Mental in April, then you need to make sure that Unum has all of the medical records related to your treatment for physical conditions. If you are denied by Unum, please contact us to discuss your options.

Bob Stewart:

Unum should be put under federal watch list and the money owed to people taken right out of their account, but most of all put the crooks in jail, they’re an embarssment to the USA.

Cathy Howard:

My question is: if you appeal when Unum denies you, do you still receive funds? This is my life they are playing with.

Attorney Greg Dell:


When Unum or any other disability insurance company denies a claim, then they usually stop paying disability benefits immediately. If you win your appeal, then they will pay all past due benefits that have not been paid.

Cathy Howard:

Greg, I received a letter stating my mental health ran out. Now Unum is deciding if it’s physical. I didn’t even ask if I would still receive funds. My sister in law mentioned it to me and no money. What do I do? I have no insurance and no one to borrow money from. My son is 18 with medical conditions. How long do they have to make a decision? My doctor stated due to no insurance he say I can work in 6 months. What BS. Please help me.

Attorney Greg Dell:


If you have disabling physical conditions then Unum has to evaluate them. Unum will usually make a determination within 30-45 days regarding a review of your medical records. You may want to consider applying for SSDI if you are eligible. You need to document with your doctor any physical conditions that you believe prevent you from working, if any.


I have been receiving LTD payments of $196 for less than a year. I was approved for SSD a month after I was approved by UNUM for LTD and had to pay back most of the first month. My caseworker or whatever he is calls me all the time wanting to update my claim. He wants to know what I am doing and a list of things that I have been doing. I am the treasurer and secretary for our church and receive $50 a week for expenses. He now wants me to send him a copy of my 2011 Tax file, and a statement from my church on what I receive from them which he has already since they sent a certified letter to the pastor last October. He wants me to sign a consent to release information from SSA. Do I have to give them all of this to keep getting this check of $196?

Attorney Greg Dell:


It is likely that your policy requires you to release the information that UNUM is seeking. If it does not, then you do not need to release the information.

Patti Welch:

I was living in Fairbanks, Alaska. And got very sick. Ended up in hospital for 2 days. Was told to get my own doctor, which I did. He refused to let me return to work and put me on short term disability, which ended in November 2011. At that time he said he would not release me to return to work. As a result I was terminated from my job. Unum than sent me a LTD check in March of 2011, and the doctor would still not release me. So in May of 2011 Unum said that they would not be sending me anymore money, as Alaska Social Security said that I was denied Disability. But I moved to Washington and they sent me to two doctors, and I now receive SSID. I still think that Unum and the doctor cost me a lot. I don’t understand how they can get away with this. I’m bipolar, I have nuraphy in my feet. And still can’t breath. With all the meds that I’m on I have a hard time facing each day.

Attorney Greg Dell:


Did you ever appeal the Unum denial of benefits? If you did, then you may still have time to sue Unum and seek reinstatement of benefits.


There is a page in my Unum disability that says Coverage at a Glance, beneath it says my company name then the start date. Then it begins to list some of the benefits I was assuming they covered. In one section it says other features was pre-existing and some other things listed that seem to be typed in. In other words it looked like these things typed in was no offered in general but what my company wanted it employee to have under this plan. However, when I applied they said I was denied because of pre-existing. I suffered from grand mal seizures about 1 year and six months while temping with my firm. However, 6 months after I was hired permanently I would have seizure at least once a week and one I had while driving from work. I was put on unable to work by my doctors. Have you had a case with this issue before?

Attorney Greg Dell:


We deal with pre-existing condition issues on a daily basis. Please contact us and we can discuss the issues surrounding your claim.

Alison Shaffer:

I am receiving LTD benefits from Unum. My daughter, age 9, receives a Survival Benefit from her Dad’s death. Because of that, she doesn’t qualify for Family Disability benefits. Should Unum offset her income? It is not from my disability? Her Dad’s death was before my stroke that causes my disability.

Attorney Greg Dell:


No. Unum should not be able to offset in the situation you described. If they try to, please contact us.

Alison Shaffer:

I posted before regarding if my daughter’s survivor’s benefits from her father’s death, before my stroke, are considered other income that Unum could deduct from my monthly income, My lost my speech and my writing so be patient with this writing and the errors. The SSA said today that she can’t quantify for family Disability benefits because she has her money from her fathers death on his record and it is higher money so she will only gets money from her fathers claim. I understand if she gets money from my OWN disability claim for family disability that they can deducts that money from my monthly payments. But she collects that money from her Fathers claim not my own claim. Right? I can’t find that information online it only says from my OWN disability claim. Could you respond to me and give me an advice.

Attorney Greg Dell:


I don’t think that UNUM should be able to claim an offset for the SSDI benefits received for as a result of your daughter’s survivor benefits.


Hi. I’ve been on SSD for almost 5 years and Unum for 7 years. When I received my SSDI there was a drastic reduction in my Unum award and I had to make some overpayments. I don’t agree with that but it seems to be the industry norm. I recently got a letter that a representative would like to meet me at my home for a 1-2 hour meeting under the guise of extending and improving their customer service. Several times the letter used the words “we would like to”. Can I refuse to this meeting or refuse to answer any questions by this examiner? Or require that all correspondence be done in writing? All these questions have been answered in triplicate in phone interviews and written reports. I can think of no reason why after 7 years Unum suddenly wants to meet with me in person and it is my opinion that this is a in-your-face fishing expedition to try and find some reason to deny my claim.

Attorney Greg Dell:


Unless your policy requires you to meet with Unum in person for an interview, then you are not required to do so. You can tell them that you would prefer not to meet in person and that they can send you a written request for any specific information that may need. You are correct in assuming that it is a fishing expedition. If you would like assistance, we regularly assist clients that are currently being paid and don’t feel comfortable dealing with the disability carrier on a monthly basis.


Unum sent a letter to one of Doctors, unfortunately I’ve had many. I was a cc: on this letter. They state to the Dr. that my “employer had a return to work program” leading the Dr. to believe I was employed and had a light duty job waiting for me. I called my previous employer, through whom I purchased the policy and read them the sentence word for word. First I had already separated from this employer because my 12 weeks of FMLA was up and I couldn’t give a date when I was returning (they would have extended a few weeks for longer). They said they had no such policy and I was not even considered an employee and hadn’t been for quite some time. I felt they out & out lied to my Dr. in this letter. When I questioned them, they tried to say because I purchased the policy through this employer, they could state I was currently employed by them. I’m so tired of the harassment I have gone through with them. They are rotten, rotten, rotten!


Unum just ended my claim saying “the definition of my disability” changed at 2 years. I have had 3 different failed procedures for neck pain, an impinged left shoulder for more than 1.5 years, even post surgery. Unum always “acted” concerned and wanted to know who I had appointments with. They would send forms to doctors before I had even met the Dr. I had 2 different Dr.’s walk into the room & the first thing they asked was who were these forms from & why are they asking to be completed at my first appointment. I feel (unfortunately) the doctors had an attitude about me before they even met or examined me. Even the last visit with my primary care physician, she told me they were calling her about restrictions & limitations. I apologized to her (even though I shouldn’t have to), she said she tried to explain to them she was just returning from maternity leave & “just catching up on her patients”. Unum knew I was being treated by specialists I was referred to by this Dr., but they just weren’t getting the answer they wanted to hear. Finally, a Sports Medicine Dr., that I hadn’t seen in more than a year, just (apparently) wrote I had no restrictions or limitations, even though the surgeon I had been seeing for 9 months said different & my FCE said different. I’ve had 8 months of outpatient PT & daily at home for neck & shoulder. I was called 3 times in a week by Unum Rep to tell me she was “recommending my claim end”. Every time I would respond, “oh, so that decision is final?”, her response was “no, it wasn’t final, but I should be aware for financial reasons”. I requested a copy of my file, which does not look very complete to me. Today I sent them a letter requesting only a copy of a call log giving me the date & reason either they called me or I called them. I have complained to their public relations department. It’s pretty sad when a judge that doesn’t have an “MD” behind his name can read and understand my medical records, but a company that I have dealt with for 27 months can’t. They out & out harass their clients and even physicians. I think it’s rotten that a company would call a doctors office & request to speak to the doctor, instead of just getting the med records from the Med Record Dept. & be able to read & understand them. No wonder Dr.’s don’t have much time to spend with their patients anymore. That Dr. is being paid by me & my insurance, NOT UNUM… yet they feel it’s fine to waste that Dr.’s time with their phone calls. Has anyone ever filed just a harassment suit against them? If so, did it do any good? I appreciate your time & letting my vent about this company. As I have time & am able to write (short periods at a time), I will be writing a letter to the State Attorney Generals, Consumer Affairs and the CEO of the company I was employed with (where I purchased the LTD policy). Is this normal for LTD companies to conduct in this manner? Any answers you could provide would be appreciated.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unfortunately you are not alone in your frustrations. However, under long term disability policies governed by ERISA, there is no legal recourse for any harassment. Legal remedies for the insured are limited to benefits owed. Your claim is an unfortunate re-minder that being approved for SSDI benefits is not a guarantee that your insurance carrier will continue to pay benefits. As it seems that your claim has not been finalised, please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.


I have an upcoming surgery and filed a claim with Unum and of course the claim was promptly denied. I have sent an email in for an appeal copying the Insurance Commissioner of my state. Is there anything we can do as a group regarding the STD denials? I was treated in an unacceptable manner by the claims person, she refused to allow me to speak with a Supervisor. Can the AGs office help?

Attorney Greg Dell:


You can also file a complaint with the Department of Labor. You need to submit an Appeal in writing via US Mail and request the claim file via US Mail. Only deal with Unum in writing.


Unum wants to send a rep to my home to “better serve me”. Is this normal? Do I have to agree to meet with them? I am guessing after reading this page that they are coming to try and find a way to disqualify me. They only pay $148 a month and after reading the above I am fearful they will want me to pay it all back or some crazy thing like that. Advise please?

Attorney Greg Dell:


You are not required to meet with Unum unless your disability policy states that you must meet with them. Ask Unum to send you any request in writing if you don’t want to meet with them.


I have bipolar disorder. How do I know if this is considered a mental or physical condition subject to the 24 month term for mental health?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


The answer is dependent on the language used in your policy. Some policies exclude Bipolar from the 24 month mental health limitation while others state any condition contained in the DSM-IV (or most recent diagnostic manual) will be subject to the limitation. I would refer you to your policy to determine how the limitation is being defined.


I was told that after 2 years that Unum would review my LTD to see if I can do other work. Well, guess what Unum decided that I can do other work, which involves sitting and standing, which is the worst thing for me due to back surgery. I can be up on my feet for a few hours but need to lay down to relax. I can barely sit at a dinner table let alone sit at a job. This is stated in doctors notes. Unum even is claiming they spoke to my doctor and said he stated I can do sedentary work. Seems odd due to the fact my doctor is a female. Letter from Unum states I can work and my case is closed. In process of appealing. Of course Unum won’t return calls. Going to be a long fight.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unfortunately, you are not alone in your fight. If you would like a free consultation to determine how we might be able to assist you in appealing the denial, please feel free to contact our office.

Kathy Benett:

I was in a terrible car accident. At the time I was working for Alabama Power in Jasper Al.. I was off work and am still off work. I received benefits from Unum for 2 years, they redid my application and I was told there were 3 jobs in the United States I could do. I could not drive and they told me it was my problem; they cut my benefits on Christmas Eve. I am 9 years out and do not receive anything from any one. Social Security has denied my claim and in the meantime my house burned. I now live with my son. If you could help I would be so glad. Thank you for listening.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


It seems like your claim was denied upwards of 7 years ago. If no legal action was taken, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against Unum would have run by now.

James K.:

How can they take money saying this is a policy to cover 70% of your pay if Your disabled? Then deducted any SSDI you get. Our Unum policy is for 50% of our pay if LTD I paid extra to bump it up to 70% only to find out they are cutting it because of SSDI. Why should the government have to pay for what they sold me? The Unum rep told me if they let us keep the 70% policy and the SSDI no one would go back to work.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unfortunately the Social Security offset is perfectly legal, and is a bargained for term in the policy and is standard in just about every employer provided group disability policy. The only way to avoid Social Security offsets would be to purchase a private individual policy from an Agent. That being said, with that you pay much higher premiums than what you do (if at all) through an employer provided group plan. It’s the same concept as buying a base model car (ERISA governed policy) versus one with all available options (Individual policy) – you get what you pay for. At the end of the day you end up making 70% of your prior earnings, it’s just a matter of who pens the check – Unum or Social Security. The disability insurance industry is set in a way to prevent an insured from collecting more money on disability than if they were workings, because, as the Unum rep bluntly put it, no one would go back to work if they could potentially make more money not working.

Thomas Denver:

Do all Unum policies stop at age 65? A few months ago my case worker told me it ran out at my death. The company I work for was bought be another company and they say they don’t have my records.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


The only Unum policies I have seen that run for your lifetime our privately purchased policies that contain an additionally purchased lifetime benefit rider. I have not encountered a Unum group disability policy that provides lifetime benefits. I would suggest you obtain a copy of the policy for clarification.

Geneva Mississippi:

Stuck in a very tough place:

Due to an illness, I was placed on long-term disability with Unum by my employer. Recently Unum contacted me and after reviewing my case has determined that I have been overpaid over $50,000. I haven’t worked since November, 2006 and offered to pay the money back on a monthly basis. Unum said no. Unum I told Unum what a hardship I am experiencing and withholding my LTD monthly check is putting me in a very difficult position because my SSD check is not enough to meet monthly bills. Can Unum refrain from working with me? Do I have any options or recourse with them?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unfortunately, yes. There are no requirements under the policy for Unum to be amenable to a repayment plan of an overpayment. With that being said, it is important to determine if the basis of the overpayment is valid. If it is for SSDI, then they have a right to recovery. Other sources they may not. With respect to repayment arrangements- withholding benefit check is by far the most common arrangement they will undertake. At times they will consider a lump sum buyout of the claim; however, this will include taking the $50,000.00 right of the top of any considered amount.

K. Garcia:


I had a long term disability (elimination period 60) with UNUM till May 2013 and this year (starting June 2013) I chose the short-term disability (elimination period 0 days). I had a baby two weeks ago and was told by UNUM that I am covered under the Long Term Disability because when I got pregnant I had that policy and not the new one. I was not aware of this condition in the policy and I was wondering if there is anything I can do to receive the STD benefits before the 60 days. I had a C-section and will be out from work for 8 weeks (which is less than 60 days). Thank you.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


If your medical condition (in this case pregnancy) predates or was present at the time you purchased the short term disability policy, then it could be effectively be precluded for purposes of your recent delivery.


I have been long-term-disabled since 1996. Recently my boy turned 18, and no longer gets SSDI. I called UNUM to see if his benefit amount would be added back to my check. They said NO because they didn’t deduct for the Cost of Living increases we got from SSDI over the years that it comes out in the wash. WHAT!? So, you get 70% of your income with the assumption you would never get pay raises?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


That does not sound right. Typically any cost of living adjustment to a deductible source of “other income” is not subject to offset by the insurance carrier. As such, Unum should only be entitled to reduce your benefit by the initial award amount from the SSA. Since your policy is from 1996 there might be language to the contrary. I would suggest you obtain a copy of your LTD policy and review the language.


Over three years ago, I went on LTD. Five weeks after applying, I was awarded SSDI; at six months, I was awarded both UNUM LTD benefits and employer disability pension. UNUM LTD was thru employer, so it, along with SSDI would be deducted. I was assured by both sides that they “were in communication” and since UNUM received the necessary wage info to process the claim, I believed.
Since then, there have been at least four “reviews” not due to my initiating contact (tax withholding questions, mostly). Nothing happened due to any of these. One of these “reviews” – a year ago (“review” #3, I think) – I gave them all income and work history data as they requested. Again, nothing changed.

Eleven months after that particular and detailed “review”, I am notified of a multi-thousand (50K+) “overpayment” because of the disability pension (now “regular” pension) I have received from the beginning!

Their position states they did not receive disability pension data from my employer until requested in August 2013 AND that same information, provided to UNUM a year ago ALSO did not get passed on to the proper department until that same time. They are referring to both instances as simple “errors” – even after appeal (I claimed it was their failure to perform, rather than an “error”).

Unfortunately, my employer does not have proof the data was transferred (it would have been via email), though it is s.o.p. AND they are in contact with UNUM Claims on a monthly basis.

While I have not yet pursued the viability of a civil suit, I can at least present SOME “lessons learned”: generally, the people you contact are helpful and courteous (I’ve had 7 so far), but those who do the work in the background are NOT at all thorough or timely, nor do they think past the moment. Most certainly their “reviews” are superficial, at best. Maybe for plausible deniability? Second – QUESTION EVERYTHING!

I didn’t.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Where does the issue with Unum stand today? Are they still demanding repayment?



The issue remains as it was, with UNUM demanding repayment. I am currently making sure I have the correct numbers and that my info is as up-to-date as possible.

Once there, I have the options of civil suit, State insurance board and Dept. of Labor complaints – and, of course, any-or-all-of-the-above. Much depends on the newly adjusted benefit, which is currently withheld toward repayment. If the amount is sufficient to repay the overpayment, it may not be worth my while to pursue a lawsuit, considering the benefit itself it still lost.

Initial UNUM calculations show the new benefits should be only $334.54 /month (down from the prior gross amount of $2065.86 and entirely allocated to repayment) and the 100 months remaining (in benefit period) will only repay $33.5K, leaving me vulnerable for $18+K when I’m 65 – barring some other “error”.

My letter of disagreement was used for the appeal and in it, I spelled were and why I believed UNUM failed to perform – as opposed to simply making an error – but in spite of that, they have elected to accept zero blame or responsibility beyond claiming “error” and hiding behind the contract clause holding them harmless for same.

I also will be ensuring my employer is fully aware of the issue and that THEY may be at risk
from the UNUM position.

Valerie Rae Nelson:

Recently I have been on disability, I am still unable to work and I need an extension. My doctor’s office has sent the required documents, on numerous occasions, I even have confirmation numbers to when these documents have been faxed. Everyday for a week straight I keep calling to see if they have received these documents, which are necessary for me to continue getting a paycheck. They keep telling me they have not received it, I am getting very frustrated, it’s like they want to disrupt my benefits. What should I do? Maybe I need to send them by certified mail, maybe I need a lawyer, I am not sure what to do. Thank you.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


I would recommend sending them certified mail, or some other form of delivery that you can confirm receipt. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.


I have been on Unum disability for one year or so. I was approved for SSD and paid the overpayment back to Unum. It was a little more than I thought it would be so they held my check for three months. I am due to start getting $835 back again Jan 5th 2014. I have heard that once they get their overpayment back they likely will discontinue my benefits. Do you know if they have this reputation? But my main question is am I able to approach them and ask for a lump sum settlement? Is that done or do I have to wait and hope they offer it to me? I am aware it’s usually less than taking payments but. The stress if dealing with them and hoping I don’t get cut off is not worth it, I would rather just settle. Thank you.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Most disability insurance companies will not entertain any lump sum buyout inquiries until after a switch in definition for disability from “own occupation” to “any occupation,” which is usually around the 2 year mark of long term disability. Even then there is no guarantee they will engage in discussions.


I have been out of work since sept 4th of 2013, had double bypass surgery on Sept. 9 the got a few checks from Unum but that has stopped since 10/20/2013. Still waiting on them but I did everything they ask. The last thing they requested was info from my Dr’s visit from November 25. They got all the info but I am still waiting. What can I do to move this along? My Dr. is not allowing me to return to work because of what I do for work. Do I need to get a lawyer to help me out? I can’t afford it. Thank God my wife works because if not I would be on the streets. So please advise me what I can do.

Attorney Greg Dell:


You can certainly have a lawyer at our firm assist you with the handling of your claim, but it seems like Unum should be sending you a check any moment. You should contact them daily via phone to ask for a firm reason as to why they are not paying. Verify that your doctor has submitted the most recent medical information. Contact us, if you would like to discuss how we may be able to push UNUM along faster to get you paid.


I have been on disability insurance with Unum since 2005 due to back problems. I have recently received a letter that they would like to buy me out and the letter said I could split up the payments because they are taxable, between 2 years… 2013 and 2014. They are asking me how much federal and state tax I would like to have taken out. The lump sum is approx. 144,000 and I am 47 years old. So do I have to have any taxes taken out or can I wait until I file my taxes to pay them in April of this year and the following year. They are offering me 67% of the total compensation for my disability.

Thank you.

Attorney Greg Dell:


The decision on taxes is part of negotiating a lump sum settlement. Contact us privately about a Unum lump sum disability buyout as we may be able to increase the offer made to you and achieve your goals with taxes.


My disability was approved and when I received the check from the Disability office, I immediately used it to pay outstanding bills, Unum sent me a letter informing me that the money belonged to them. Of course, I don’t have the money, since March 2013, Unum has been holding my LTD check and applying it to the balance that I owe. I have asked Unum to work with me this situation because I am desperately suffering trying to pay my monthly bills. Unum has refused to work with me. My check from Unum is approx. $1300. Can you tell me why Unum refuses to help me? Can I file bankruptcy? I owe them approx. $48,000. Can I take them to court? Please tell me what are my options with Unum.

Attorney Greg Dell:


The law is not very clear on overpayments, but I would not declare bankruptcy because of the $48,000 overpayment. Unum will have very little chance of every collecting this amount from you. Please check out our Frequently Asked Questions on Overpayments for more information.


I am currently out of work on short term disability leave, provided by UNUM. I am suffering from anxiety/panic attacks. I get intense headaches from the florescent lighting above as well as from the computer at work. In result, my body acts in a sense where it throws me into an anxiety attack. I am not sure what is causing them, but it seems like at work they happen the most. It’s possible doing computer work all day isn’t good on my brain. I have been out of work since Oct. 2, 2013. I made an attempt to return Dec. 2, 2013. The first week was fine, A little anxious but excited to be back. The second week on the computer, the headaches started again. It was to the point where I couldn’t even type, so I went out on leave again. What’s crazy is when I was having these anxiety attacks, as soon as I left out the building, they went away. So… I’m really Starting to believe it is computer work. Now, UNUM is being very difficult. The lady who is handling my case is very unpleasant, comes off to be very insensitive and mean. I have spoken to her manager about her before, and she makes excuses for her behavior. She treats me as if I am lying about my condition. They are acting like they don’t want to pay me. I am back and forth on the phone, they want this from the doctor, that from the doctor. Even when I my doctor provides all the information they need, now the are requesting more. I am starting to get real feed up with my case worker. For Christ sakes, I have bills that need to be paid, they should have been finished making the decision on my case. I would go to an appointment on weds, papers would be faxed weds night and by Friday I would receive a phone call stating my benefits were extended. The lady would still be rude but I would ignore her. It just seems ever since I had come back out, they are taking time with my case on purpose. There is nothing I can really do, but wait. They don’t care how you feel, they want you at work. They also try to trick my Doctor up, by asking the same questions in a different manner. I’m just tired of them. Gracias.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unfortunately, your experience is not uncommon and if your claim is expected to go into Long Term disability the difficulties will most likely increase. Please feel free to contact our office to determine how we may be able to assist you.


I have Unum thru my employer and used it in 2011 for short term disability due to pregnancy. I am now pregnant again and will be taking 6 weeks of maternity leave and using short term disability again. The only difference is I may not return back to work after this baby. If I don’t, do I need to pay back any money? I’ve had my job for almost 5 years.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Short term disability acts as income replacement due to your inability to work. If you meet the definition of disability contained in your policy, then you are entitled to the benefit. You would not have to refund any money paid by Unum if you are unable to return to work following your pregnancy. Please note that if you are going to be out of work indefinitely following the pregnancy as a result of a medical condition then you should also look into any long term disability coverage you may have with your employer.


Thank you for the quick response.


My former husband (who is recently deceased) suffered two strokes in 1997, leaving him permanently disabled. He had a UNUM LTD policy and was approved for SSDI. At the time we had three children under the age of 18 who were subject to the offset provisions of the policy. As each reached the age of 18, and were finally phased out, we were left with one child of the three that is referred to as a DAC (a Disabled Adult Child) who receives SSDI via my husbands employment record. From 2007 up to the time of his passing UNUM continued to use the amount my disabled adult child recieves as an offset. It should be noted that this child is now 26 (27 in March). When I questioned this practice a number of years ago, I was told their actions, even when it came to a disabled child, were permissable per their policy. Just curious if you have had any experience in dealing with an issue such as this. It would appear to be a discriminatory practice, as if a person did not have a disabled child, UNUM would have recalculated benefits. Rather, the household income was reduced by the amount my son recieved as Social Security views the funds he receives as “his” money.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Typically, the only dependent SSDI (DSSDI) benefit that is subject to offset under a group disability policy is the DSSDI received by the dependent on account of the primary recipient’s disability. If your son was receiving it independently of your husband’s entitlement to SSDI benefits then there could be an argument that Unum was improperly offsetting the benefit by your son’s benefit. Please note that there might not be a cause of action against Unum due to the Statute of Limitations passing (the timeframe with which you can bring a lawsuit) as arguably the claim of action to challenge Unum on this matter may be considered to have arisen in 2007.


Mr. Jessup, thank you for your follow-up on my question. As it pertains to my disabled adult child, he has been disabled since birth and is (was) eligible for SSI, however it was mandated that he take the SSDI payments which as I understand a disabled child can received as a result of a parents death, retirement or disability. I am in a position since his passing that I am attempting to settle his estate and continue to act as his Trustee under our Living Trust. It should also be noted that we divorced in 2011, and my son has resided with me as his legal guardian. I really do not know if place of residence has any bearing on the offset.


I was on STD in August of 2012 then it automatically went into LTD at which time I was terminated from my position. My doctor would not release me to return to any type of work due to severity of limitations. Late October 2013 Unum told me I had to apply for social security and had someone from Genex contact me. In mid November 2013, Unum discontinued my benefits, stating their medical team deemed I was not disabled. However I just found out social security was approved. Since Unum discontinued my benefits, and I was not receiving anything from them, am I still responsible to notify them about social security? They are making it retroactive back to February 2013. Thank you.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


For purposes of Unum imposing an offset, location of residence will have little bearing. With respect to any proceedings to settle the estate or in furtherance of the trust, I would have to defer to an attorney who specializes in same to determine what your rights/options are.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unum would still have a legal right to repayment of any lump sum back benefit amount on account of your SSDI award that overlapped with any period of time Unum was paying your benefit. Furthermore, if you intend to appeal the denial of benefits by Unum, you will have to do so with 180 days from the date of the denial.

Deborah Montelongo:

OMG… My husband is having a field visit in 2 hours and he gets confused very quickly. I will be here with him the whole time. But NOW I am worried about what the Rep will interpret. My husband likes people and is apt to talk too much. I think I’ll send him a text everytime I think he should just stick to the questions, brief answers. Oh Nooo… Wish Us Luck!

Bartum Kulah:

UNUM recently requested my entire Social Security file and sent release to speak with my relatives. They also are checking on whether I’ve worked since being disabled. Are they allowed to request my entire file instead of being specific as to disability income and determination letter?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


If you signed a release allowing them authority to request your entire Social Security File, then yes, they may.


I have S.S. nd have always been employed. In april I had an exacerbation which made it impossible to work. I was approved for STD. It transitioned into LTD as the dr. Said it would take 6 months to recover back to my normal physical state. I was steadily improving and just about ready to return to work. Then my husband was in and out of the hospital for a month due to kidney surgery. Then my brother passed away unexpectedly. All this grief and stress set back any progress I had made. So my dr. stated (in January) that I had been improving, but due to circumstances that caused a regression, he expected that if I continued all my physical therapy, I would need another 4 to 6 months to regain my progress. My Unum rep said they would just check back with me in April. However I received a call Feb 22nd from her asking why I hadn’t filed a social security claim. I said I am planning to return to work as soon as possible & so I couldn’t see myself applying. She said it was mandatory that I apply, they would help me & it was because I didn’t have a return to work plan on file. I was never asked for this and I read my policy 3 times and nowhere does it indicate that apllying for SSDI is mandatory. She says it is in their policy but will not tell me where it is written. Can I refuse and just allow them to terminate my claim with no repercussions or letters that will show up years from now? I would rather try to make ends meet for the next few months & find work than deal with this. I have read they insist people file knowing they will be returning to work, and it is clogging the social security office with applicants they know are ineligible.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Most policies contain language that indicates if you do not apply for a source of “Other Income Benefits” (which SSDI is), the insurance company has the right to offset your benefit by the amount they estimate you would be entitled to receive from the source of “other income.” So although there may be no per se “mandatory” requirement that you do apply for SSDI, please be advised the carrier could reduce your monthly benefit for failure to apply.


Here is what I find most likely illegal about Unum’s “payback” policy. They consider every source of income as income except Veteran’s Affairs Benefit Compensation. So, if a person really wanted to fight their income definition in court I would think a Judge would love to hear how Unum counts every income known to man except Veteran Affairs Compensation. This in itself could VOID their contracts, mainly with disabled veterans. What the attorneys here think about this?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unfortunately there is nothing illegal about the way Unum writes their “Other Income” benefits provision. Courts have long held that these provisions are enforceable. Unum’s decision to exclude VA benefits as a source of Other Income is also legal, and regardless of the rationale for doing such I believe is a good thing. Having a benefit reduced by a deductible source of income is often a surprise to the insured, and definitely a point of contention. However, the premiums (if any) that are paid for the coverage are incredibly low in comparison to the premiums you would have to pay should you purchase a private policy that does not contain such language. You get the benefit of the bargain.


I have short term disability with UNUM Insurance through my employer. Due to sudden onset of seizures my family doctor forbid me from driving or working until cleared by a Neurologist. I have had my family doctor’s letter forbidding me from driving or working sent to UNUM. My Neurologist and Cardiologist have sent letters to UNUM and UNUM still will not approve my short term disability while I am being evaluated by doctors. I am not able to call and talk to anyone and get caught up in voice mail circle.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Has your claim been formally denied prompting the necessity to file an appeal? If so, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your options.


Attorney Stephen Jessup, thank you for responding. I saw a typo that said I have SS. It should have been M.S. However, my main question was, if I refuse to apply will they stop my benefits? If so, will they just stop them or stop them and require me to pay back? Can I terminate my claim voluntarily? I have discovered that if I go on SSDI and medicare that it could alter my ability to continue the treatment I am on. Other people in my treatment group have been greatly affected by medicare and not able to continue this type of infusion without huge out of pocket cost. This treatment has been my last resort and I will rebound badly with a good chance of only partial recovery. Thank you.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Most policies are written to read that should you fail to apply for SSDI benefits the carrier can reduce your monthly benefit by the amount the estimate your benefit to be. You have the right to voluntarily terminate your disability claim but I would not advise it.


Does Unum have a timeline of when they must approve or deny a STD claim? I’m getting the run around with delay tactics of continuously needing more information from medical providers? They should have enough information to approve or deny my claim at this point and they continue to ask for more information. What is the best way to file a complaint against them? I have recently requested all information be put in writing. Extremely frustrating. They are unethical and clearly trained to twist something words around and attempt to imply I’ve said something I haven’t. They are now saying my PA isn’t a sufficient primary care provider since she is not a physician, however she was sufficient for the past 30 days. Can they do this?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


There are deadlines under the law with which Unum has to render a decision, typically, within 45 days after the receipt of all information. However, it is often much sooner with STD claims. How long has it been? As for the sufficiency of your treatment provider, they could argue that treatment is insufficient based upon how they define what a qualified treatment provider is under the policy.


Attorney Stephen, one last question: why would you advise not voluntarily terminating my claim? Thank you for your time.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unfortunately, as I do not represent you and thus do not know the intricacies of your case, I cannot provide any direction one way or another.


I’m trying to get my long term disability with Unum through my job I been off work since nov2013 I have osteoarthritis. In my knee and two slipped disc in my back that’s keeping me for standing 8 hours on my job I’m in so much pain constantly. I can harlfly walk and can’t do my daily job at hone my knees so stiff if I stand or sit for 30 minutes I hurt I twist and turn every night can’t sleep because my sciatica. Nerve I was wondering will Unum approve my claim I may have to have a onerous replace me

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


If your claim was filed in November 2013, there should have been a decision with respect to your entitlement to benefits. Unfortunately, without having assisted in filing for the benefit or having any full understanding of your medical records and occupational requirements I would not be able to give you any indication as to what Unum’s final outcome will be. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim.


Hello, I have had LTD benefits with UNUM for two years–they will end next month. Now that the reason for having the benefits initially has improved, they are looking into possibly extending them due to my two disc herniations in my back accompanied by debilitating sciatica and becoming “stuck” for three to four days at a time every few weeks. The problem is, the past few weeks, my husband has been urging me to just let my benefits end since my UNUM rep called and stated he had looked at our wedding Knot page as well as my Facebook page stating that it’s seems as though I am fine. I promise you, although only 34 and otherwise healthy, I am not fine and am certain there’s nothing on either site depicting that I am. Both UNUM reps that I have had always tried to “trick” me into saying I was fine or even working on the side. Always added to my already terrible anxiety. My question is this. Yesterday we found out that we are going to be expecting a baby. This happened to be on the same day that I visited a neurosurgeon who recommended spinal fusion in two locations in my back. Does UNUM ever deny extension of benefits due to pregnancy or on the other side would my pregnancy be considered a medical condition where they could potentially extend my benefits due to being pregnant? Having UNUM has always been very stressful. I’d love nothing more than to not have to deal with them. However, I need them until after delivering a baby and having surgery. Then, I’d love to return to a work environment and feel normal again! I should mention that you know him forced me to use Genex to apply for Social Security Disability in order to keep my benefits. I was denied and I’m on my first appeal.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Some policies require that the condition that you are disabled from as the claim transitions into the Any Occupation period must be the same sickness or injury that you initially became disabled from, so you will have to review your policy as to same. Unum can and will deny your benefits regardless of the pregnancy if it determines from the totality of the circumstances that you no longer meet the definition of disability under the policy. Please feel free to contact our office should you wish to discuss your claim further.


Attorney Stephen. They have had my claim over thirty days now and still under initial. Review I have already filed for my real disability with a lawyer my job is standing eight hours and alot of physical. Work my knee can’t take it no more because it locks up crackels and post spasms and I falls my back has hernating disc two of them and sciatica. Nerves I can’t Hartley stand up straight cause it hurts so bad my doctor is sending me to an orthopedic. For my knee cause I had a a severe injury 17 years. Ago on it blowed the whole knee out and had to have pins and screws and a dropped foot that requires me to wear a brace n my shoe now its full of osteoarthritis. I may have to have a knee replacement I was just wondering. Will will Un approve my claim I just can’t stand 8 hours on this knee anymore and hump over cause of my bad back.


I’m getting an SSDI back-pay check soon. UNUM wants me to pay it back to them. How can I negotiate to keep some of it? Thank you.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unum has no duty to negotiate with you over the SSDI back benefit check. That being said, you can inquire as to the possibility of maintaining a portion and setting up a repayment plan.


I fought to get Unum pay all premiums from employer; they took out for two years then was diagnosed with lupus. Couldn’t return to work after that multiple blood clots. After I sent my first claim two months to pay car was repoed then went to long term. Took them three months, then lost everything filed for SSD. Finally was approved after two years and four months, now that I got SSD Unum said I’m elegible for 115 dollars a month but owe them everything they paid me for the two years. Can they do that since I had policy through my employer and was taken right out of my check? Is this right? Please help!

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unfortunately, yes. Unum policies typically contain language that your benefit will be offset by the receipt of any other sources of income, with SSDI being the most common. Additionally, this would also allow Unum to recover an overpayment for any funds previously paid that the SSA is providing back benefits for.

Wanda Watson:

I have been recieving UNUM Disability for 10 years and I am due to recieve a settlement from a personal injury, will this affect my monthly Unum Disability?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Depending on your policy language, the settlement from the personal injury case could result in an overpayment under the Unum policy if your disability is related to the accident. As you have been on for 10 years, you may also be able to negotiate a lump sum buyout of your policy with Unum. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you with same.


I have been collecting a Unum claim will be 2 years in September. I have been on social security since 3/2013. Last April Unum approved me early for “any occupation”. I am 55 and down to a $839 Unum check monthly with 10 years left. Can I just suggest a buyout? Or do I have to wait for them to offer? Will it create a problem by asking? Thanks.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unum may be willing to discuss a lump sum buyout of your policy. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in securing the best possible settlement amount.

Mr. R:

Hi there – Unum is reviewing my long term claim. They are certainly dragging their feet – it’s been months now and they continue moving the goal posts. I requested in writing the claim file and all materials associated with the claim. I received the policy itself, but nothing else. The “lead specialist’s” letter included with the policy indicated “we can discuss your request for materials” after the decision has been made. Must not Unum provide my claim file upon request? After all there has already been a short term claim paid. There are specific items I requested in writing regarding short term benefits that I’ve got to review but that were not provided. They claimed there was an over-payment I’d like to contest. What can I do to compel Unum to comply with my info requests? Is it too early in the process for your services to be useful: I believe you normally wait until long term is denied? Thank you.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Mr. R,

Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you. Under ERISA, Unum would have 45 days to render a decision on your claim for benefits, with the possibility of an extension and/or tolling of time while waiting for information to be submitted. With respect to your request for information, an insurance carrier is not obligated to provide a claim file until there has been a denial of benefits, so it is no surprise they are stonewalling you on the request.

Ronald Smith:

I had Unum at three different places that I worked. The last one for AISD as a janitor. A few days before they would have to pay me I had a stroke. The first job I was a Manager with the City of Arlington. They said since I was already had a stroke I wasn’t covered and I didn’t have them long enough to take effect. They did not pay me in 2003 or in 2013. Can I sue them? Thet said previous systems do count.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


It sounds as if Unum is alleging you have a pre-existing condition precluding you from coverage under the most recent Unum sponsored long term disability policy. We would need to see the denial letters and policy in order to determine how we may be able to assist you.


I have Unum LTD through my employee’s group policy and I also pay extra from my earnings to cover LTD at a max. I have been working in the healthcare industry for the past 8 years and this is the first time I ever had an injury that led me to being disabled. I sustained a traumatic brain injury from slipping on ice. I followed all of Unum’s guidelines and did everything they asked me to do. My attending physician, neurologist and eventually I was referred to a outpatient rehab facility that specializes in post traumatic head injuries. I have been out of work for 5 months and this week I was slammed with a denial letter of any payment from Unum. I was in shock I could not believe all of my deficits I have and I’ve been in therapy for 2 months now and the company denied me all of my LTD payments. I was extremely upset and what bothered me more was my denial letter Unum sent me had false information from all of my specialists and doctors. How can this company function in our country without being shut down? Through the process I lost my residence of living, my car and anything valuable to me. The company should be ashamed of the lies and dishonesty they sent to me in my denial letter. At this point I don’t even know how to react; the company drained me of every dollar I have, forcing me to just want to let them win because I have not a chance at an appeal without legal help, but how do you obtain legal help when the company refused to pay me for over 5 months leaving me with nothing left. Also I was wondering are they allowed to falsify doctor reports they recieved? I revieved all of my information they received and the disability specialist clearly changed all of my doctor’s opinions and exams into false findings.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


I am sorry to hear about the denial of your claim. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in appealing Unum’s denial.

Wrong Companies:

I was just denied my short term disability claim on the grounds that I did not lose any money. I had surgery on April 18th, I tried to go back to work immediately from home. My company piled endless projects on me and I was very much overloaded, it was way above what I was used to handling, which is generally a lot more than I should have on my plate anyways. I was not healing well and dealing with numerous complications from healing and medications’ side effects. My doctor finally told me to take some time off because my stress level was above and beyond and not productive to my healing. On May 21st I went to talk to my boss who told me to file a short term disability claim. My HR rep filled out the form for me and I left. The form was for May 22nd through when I came back on June 9th, so exactly one pay period of two weeks. The insurance company keeps bringing up the date I had the surgery through the day short term disability was filed for me, May 22nd. They wanted time sheets which my company does not keep due to my being salaried as a professional. The company also listed the lack of timesheets as another reason for denial of the claim. Not to miss an opportunity to take advantage, my company of employment (which shall remain undisclosed), offered me a loan to cover for the missed wages as I am a single mother and could not afford to miss a large chunk of income. I had no other choice but to take it or become homeless, carless and the jobless. Basically, the loan stipulates that I pay back the loan starting this month and should I end my employment with them, the loan, in it’s entirety, would be due and they would hold my last check until it’s paid in full. I was only out two weeks because my employer called me and insisted that I either come back to work and stop working from home or not get paid. He even suggested that I go back on disability or have my insurance pay for a cab. So contrary to what my doctor advised I immediately went back to into work and stopped taking my pain killers. I was also told by my boss that if I work 13 hours a week while on short term disability, that would offset the 66% and they could pay me the rest of my check to make it even. They then reneged on this statement later saying that they couldn’t fulfill this agreement because it was illegal and would issue me a “bonus” or “loan” instead. Then the loan became an actual loan, even since I’ve worked the 13 hours a week while I was on short term disability. I am still required to pay it back. I want out of my company, I feel forced into this situation, but that’s another story I guess. I received denial of my claim well over a month after it was filed on July 3rd, the insurance company kept asking for things that no one had/has and denied it on the basis that I lost no money but they never documented the correct dates. Dates, of which, they were informed of multiple times. I hope all of this drivel makes sense. Please help me out here and let me know what I need to do, I would greatly appreciate it.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


As your situation is very unique, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in further detail.


I went out on STD on May 30, 2014. Although it has been a short time, I have not been paid correctly. When the situation was brought to Unum three weeks ago… they informed me that I was setup incorrectly in the system and they would review and I should have a check by the end of the week. I am still waiting on those funds I should have received 2-4 weeks ago. I was informed the following week that they would send the amount I was underpaid to my employer to send me a check overnight. That did not happen and now this week I am being told the system has to do a tax update that they can only do during a certain time. Again I was told a different story to resolve my issue. I am late with all my bills and can not support my two children as well as myself. I will more than likely be back at work before I get anything!

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Have you followed up with your employer as to the missing money? Under the STD policy, Unum may only be administering the policy for your employer and not actually funding the policy. If so, the benefit payment is the responsibility of your employer.


Attorney Stephen,

Unum is now claiming I am self-insured, although they have been paying my claims and my employer states I am fully insured. Unum took 25% in federal taxes due to my improper setup. They are refusing to evaluate my claim and get the funds that are owed to me.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


There might be a miscommunication of concepts with Unum. Self-Insured usually refers to a employer provided policy that is funded by your employer- meaning your company is responsible for issuing the benefit check, and Unum would be acting as a third party administrator of the policy. Fully insured as I interpret it from your comment is simply being covered under the policy. If Unum withheld taxes based on your indication of a 25% withholding, you might not be able to recover that from Unum or your company and it may have to be rectified with an accountant when your taxes are filed. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss the matter further.


Hi, I had a cesarean on 3-20-2014 due to delivery of 3rd child. I was out of work on maternity leave under STD. On 4-1-2014 I had to undergo surgery a 2nd time due to having blood clots within my incision. Unum had me scheduled to go back to work on 5-14-2014 from the original date of the first cesarean. I noticed on 5-13-2014 that my doctor left staples in me by mistake which was a month later the day before I was scheduled to go back to work. I went to have those removed on 5-13-2014. My doctor gave me authorization to be out of work until 5-28-2014 my next follow up visit to check the incision and do birth control. I was released to go back to work on 5-29-2014. Well Unum denied my claim for those 2 additional weeks. I have sent medical records and doctors notes. I was denied twice. Now I am at the appeal process. My doctor advised it should be 8 weeks for recovery with no complications but clearly I had a few more than expected. Please give me your opinion. Thanks.

Injured Person:

I was a technology executive and I’ve been on LTD with UNUM since 2010 due to a unnecessary and very damaging medical surgery that was performed without my consent during a totally different minor procedure, while I was under anesthesia. The injury is internal and causes severe and ongoing pain, head and ear pressure, massive headaches and respiratory issues. It is a unique injury but very real and quite indescribable. Because it is internal, it is difficult to prove, but it has a real name and it been documented by treating doctors who specialize in this field. Most doctors, however, are unfamiliar with this and do not understand the injury or damage, which I suppose makes UNUM question the veracity of my disability. I am on ongoing heavy duty pain medication, among other treatments, but the side effects contribute to my disability, since my work was intellectually intense, not physical.

After 4 years of payments, about 2 months ago, UNUM requested my tax returns dating back to 2010. which I promptly provided. The claims rep assured me that the tax returns would be kept for internal purposes and would not be disclosed to or discussed with anybody. It is obvious that they are doing an “evaluation/investigation” to find a way to stop paying me.

At a recent visit to my neurologist who has been treating me since the disability, I was informed by the doctor that UNUM made a very upsetting and harassing call to him (his exact words) and asked him if he knows how I make money, among other things. They told the doc that they have my tax returns and discussed my income history. They asked the doc if he believes that I’m in pain and asked if he “trusts” me. The doc said he was a little shocked and told UNUM that I am indeed in ongoing pain. They asked if I seem drugged when I see him. They told him that they have me on surveillance video exercising at the gym and running. The doc told them that he knows that I exercise and he documented that exercise is helpful for me. I never hid this from UNUM and this was disclosed during my original claim. Because I have tried to start and invest in websites which are all visible to the public, they feel that I must be working.

A few questions for you:

1. Can UNUM legally discuss my tax returns or my income with my doctor?

2. UNUM called the doc 7 weeks ago. I have received 2 benefit payments since then. Would they have cut me off immediately that was their intention?

3. How long do they usually take between starting one of these evaluations/investigations and making a decision to stop the harassment and surveillance OR to stop paying?

4. Are they required to tell me they are investigating my claim? My claims rep has never mentioned this nor have I received any letters from them.

5. Should I call UNUM and tell them to stop harassing my doctor? He was not happy about this.

6. Does it make sense to retain an attorney at this time? In all honesty, this condition makes life difficult and UNUM is adding a lot of stress which doesn’t help.

Thank you!

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Without an understanding of the facts and circumstances I would not be able to provide an adequate opinion. Typically though, if Unum has denied your claim twice already there wouldn’t be any additional administrative appeals and you would be required to file lawsuit to secure the remainder of your benefits.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Injured Person,

Your questions and situation are too complex for a quick response here. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in detail.

LouAnn L.:

I was approved for SSA ON June 14, 2000, and after a pre-existing condition period of 1 year I started receiving benefits from UNUM. My initial condition was for chronic pain from pelvic adhesive disease. Since then I have several secondary illnesses that increase the amount of pain that I suffer on a daily basis. I received a denial of benefits letter from UNUM in June of this year I received a letter from UNUM after they sent me to THEIR Dr. that they were denying my coverage and that I am being released to return to full time employment. Which amazes me since I take several pain medications and don’t drive because if those medications. I’m pretty sure if I was to get pulled over after taking those meds I would get an OVI.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


It is very unusual that Unum would deny your claim after 13 years. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in appealing the denial.

W. Phillips:

I elected to take a Medical Bridge policy and an Accident policy with Colonial Life Insurance through work when I started my new job. I had previously had a cancer policy which I had recently used with Colonial Life and I knew from the previous policy that I had a year to file any claims. I was laid off and the job that had only lasted for ten months. I went to file my claims for the surgeries that my husband had had during the time the insurance was in effect and found that Colonial Life said that I did not have any policy other than and old cancer policy that was not in effect. I contacted my job and they researched for me to find out why Colonial Life said that I did not have a policy. Colonial Life singled me out and did not process the policies because I am sure they saw that I was a likely candidate to use them because from their records they could see my husband had cancer. During this time my husband had three surgeries and I was not able to file claims because Colonial Insurance did not activate my policies. I was told that it was my responsibility to make sure the premiums were coming out of my check. My check had several insurance items listed and it was difficult to tell that it was not being deducted. My job told me that Colonial Insurance was supposed to contact me and follow up with the Insurance witch they did not do.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


It appears that your human resources department may have made a mistake when enrolling you for the designated coverage. You may need to consult with an employment attorney to see if you have recourse on account of your company’s mistake.


I was diagnosed with Lyme’s Disease on 4/7/2014, I took out an insurance supplemental policy through Allstate on 3/7/2014. They stated I had a 30 day waiting period. The Allstate policy went into effect on 4/1/2014. On 3/14/2014 I was at work and had a visual problem while working on the computer and thought I was going blind and also felt my left arm tingling. Thinking I was having a stroke I went to the ER and had a Cat Scan done and a MRI. They stated that I had stress and sent me home. I made an appointment with my primary doctor for a physical because I was not feeling well and she stated that I should have blood work done she had me tested for all types of things and Lyme’s was one of the test done. The date of the appointment with the primary doctor was April 4th, 2014. On 5/14/2014 I contacted the doctor because I had not checked my messages and noticed that they had been calling me regarding my test results. When I called them they stated that I was diagnosed with Lyme’s disease and that I had to start Doxcycline, which is an antibiotic, immediately and that the Camden County Board of Health sent out a form on 4/7/2014 that had to be completed regarding the Lyme’s. I have never been treated for Lyme’s nor have I had symptoms of Lyme’s.

My question is, I put the claim in with Allstate and they are saying that I had a pre-existing condition and therefore they were denying my claim. I then went to my infectious disease doctor, who then contacted them and appealed their decision, stating there was no pre-existing condition and provided them with all of my medical records. They then again denyed it stating the same thing. Do I have a case or am I just wasting my time? Please help.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


We will need to see a copy of your denial letters and Policy in order to determine how we may be able to assist you. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss same.


I developed fibromyalgia after several bacterial and viral infections one of which had me hospitalized. I was employed, but could never work nearly a full day after that and missed many days entirely. I was fired for poor performance. I tried to get another job thinking that the condition would get better. But now it has progressed to where I can’t hardly spend time with my grandchildren. UNUM pumped me for every painful detail then threw it back at me like a criminal indictment. It set me back on my recovery from depression. The stuff they made up is unbelievable. They kept insisting I became disabled after I was fired but state there is no evidence that I remained so. Nonsense. They could have sent me a letter saying I applied too late but instead eviscerated me emotionally because they knew where all my weaknesses were. Reading all these comments breaks my heart but at least now I know I’m not alone.

Question from Pennsylvania:

I am currently on Ltd with Unum and SS disability. My policy states that the maximum benefit period for someone my age, 46, is up to age 62 or not less than 5 years. I have been on the LTD for about 3 years. What does this mean?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


I am not sure as a typical Unum policy will provide benefits up to age 65. You may be misreading the policy as Unum policies will often contain language that if you become disabled past a certain age you will be covered for a designated period of months.

Tom Denver:

I was told by the Unum case worker that my disability through my plan benefit would never run out but when I turned 65 they stopped it.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


A disability insurance benefit for all intents and purposes is never a guaranteed benefit, meaning it can be stopped by the insurance company if they feel you no longer meet the terms and conditions of a policy. Additionally, employer provided disability policies only provide benefits to age 65 or until the Social Security Retirement Age has been reached. Your policy would indicate the maximum benefit age, but Unum typically rights a policy that only provides coverage to age 65.


I had been receiving L.T. benefits from Unum Insurance for 24 months. Was denied further benefit 24 months. Define disability as any job. My doctors have not released me to work. I did as they said filed appeal on my own. Received denial letter last week. I request all the information use in their review. I have also contacted the insurance commission as no one will hire someone who has not been released by their doctor. My next step is hire attorney and take them to court? How do they usually settle, lump sum or continue monthly payment? Do I have a choice if I prefer monthly payments? I was employed 23 years with same employer. Thanks!

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


If the policy does not provide for an additional appeal then the next step available to you is filing a lawsuit. A large number of legal actions settle by way of a lump sum buyout. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we can assist you in your continued pursuit of benefits.


I applied for STD through Unum back in August when I was no longer able to work due to a medical condition that my initial doctor was unable or too incompetent to properly diagnose. I was approved for 2 weeks of STD when all of a sudden I was notified that there was no medical basis to support my disability. I have my medical records from my initial doctor and the new doctor that clearly state I cannot work and my benefits were denied. I appealed the decision and on exactly the 45th day my appeal was denied and the adjuster told me that I need to go back to work. When I asked how they expected me to go back to work in excruciating pain, I was told that there is nothing wrong with me and my claim would be closed until they received new information. What else do they need? They already have records from 2 different doctors stating that I am unable to work! I have requested a copy of my file both over the phone and in writing and I haven’t received anything yet. I am tired of being jerked around by this company.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Do you have any additional appeals available to you? If not your only option may be to bring a lawsuit. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in greater detail.


I started all of a sudden one day with terrible neck pain after I turned my head to the left when driving. Since then I have had nerve blocks in my neck, put on seizure meds for the nerve pain and continued massage therapy. I even lost my vision because of this neurological issue.

I filed a claim with Unum under my accident policy. I had an MRI of my neck that showed mild degenerative disk disease in my neck but all of my doctors have stated this was an incidental finding and my pain is from muscles pinching nerves not from a pre-existing condition. My doctors have also put that in writing. Unum denies my claim even though several doctors have written letters. I appealed it and they just denied my appeal.

I know this is not a disability claim but Unum should have to compensate me. Can you help me?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


If your policy only pays benefits due to an accident, your condition, or the facts and circumstances surrounding it may not constitute an “accident” under the policy. That being said, we would be more than happy to review the information. Please feel free to contact our office.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Do you have any additional appeals available to you? If not your only option may be to bring a lawsuit. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in greater detail.


I have one appeal left and I plan to file it once I have recovered from surgery. I requested a copy of my file nearly a month ago, and I still do not have it. I think this company is ridiculous. They are stalling for only God knows what reason. Here it is, Christmas and I am broke. I have no money for January bills. Can I sue for emotional distress while this last appeal plays out?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


If your policy is governed by ERISA, then you would not be able to sue for any extra-contractual damages- to include emotional distress. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in filing your final appeal.

Dave Rees:

I am looking for advice and support regarding a rejected claim by Unum that I and medical opinion believes to be unfair. I live in The United Kingdom and wondered if you could recommend anyone here, please? The money is not enormous but would help my family and I. I have been awarded total incapacity benefit but Unum seems to not recognise this!

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unfortunately, we do not have anyone we could recommend in the UK. However, if your claim originates from the United States we may be able to assist you in appealing the denial.

Teresa Henson:

I have been on Long term disability through UNUM for almost two years. They are saying my disability will be cut off in March 2015 because it is mental health. I currently live with a relative because I cannot care for myself. What can I do? I am unable to work due to my disability (PTSD) and severe depression. I have worked for 38 years in the medical field, 32 as a Respiratory Therapist. When I was put on leave it was directed to me from my two supervisors to go to the Dr. The doctor I went to see was the hospitals workman’s comp Dr. He wrote stress due to work, yet I was not placed on workman’s compensation. The physician and his wife who was his office manager were of little help. I had to have a ride to go get my state disability check every time it was due because the Dr.s wife would not take care of the paperwork properly. Now I’m worried and panicked because my LTD will run out soon. What can I do?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


I am sorry to hear of your situation. Unfortunately, Unum’s 24 month limitation for mental health claims is legal and enforceable. The only option you may have for continued disability benefits is through Social Security (if you aren’t already receiving it and are eligible).


Unum has been giving me the run around. Is it possible to file a state and/or federal complaint against them? If not, what is my best option to make sure I get my STD that is owed to me?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


A lawsuit can only be brought after exhaustion of Administrative remedies (appeal). If your claim has not been formally denied then there may be limited options depending on how long it has been. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim.


Hello, my name is Daniel and I have Cystic Fibrosis, which is a genetic and terminal illness. I worked as a social worker up to 2008 in a hospital but had to leave my job as my cf got worse. I have Ssdi and Unum for LTD. My policy stated that it covers pre existing condition after 24 months. That was not a problem as I worked for the hospital for 5 years. I do receive ltd via Unum and have had Disabilty Reviews in the past without issue. However I am now currently under review (it seems every two years), and am stressed by it. I sent over discharge summaries for my nine hospitalizations last year and my doc set over the required info too. With my diagnoses of cystic fibrosis and proof of nine hospitalizations they would look foolish to deny continuing coverage yes? Should I be concerned?


Hi, my name is Desmond and I’ve been getting my long term benefits from Unum for about 10 months. The women that does my case seems like she ‘s harassing me every time we talk. She’s always making threats and makes it seem like I’m lying about my injury. I tore part of my heel off and devolved a bone in my left foot. Most of the time I talk to her she says it’s my right foot that bothers me. No matter how much I say it’s my left foot. Then she tells me if I don’t go see a therapist for mental health she will close the case and I won’t get benefits anymore. She even tells me to go find a job and she will give me benefits. I’m just tired of all this harassment.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Unfortunately no one can ever tell you that you have nothing to worry about when dealing with an insurance company. If you are concerned, please feel free to contact our office to discuss in further detail. Given your claims history there may even be the possibility that Unum would consider a lump sum buyout of your policy.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


I am sorry to hear that you are being treated poorly. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in the monthly handling of your claim so you do not have to deal with Unum directly.

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