Disability attorney and client suffering from fibromyalgia and hypertension sue UNUM for unpaid long term disability benefits

On July 5, 2011, Annie T. Merion and her disability attorney filed a lawsuit against UNUM Life Insurance Company of America in the United States District of Georgia, Macon Division on a claim for long term disability benefits. As a governmental employee plan for disability benefits, Merion’s claim is excluded from being a plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Merion, however, was entitled to her disability plans as she was covered under a UNUM disability plan that was provided through the Peach County Board of Education. As such, Merion brought her claim against UNUM Life because of its termination of her disability benefits that are owed her.

Merion became disabled in November of 2007 when she was forced to cease work due to a “myriad of impairments including, but not limited to” Fibromyalgia; hypertension; stroke; chest pain; face numbness; high blood pressure; and other impairments.” Having initially approved Merion’s claim, the insurer terminated her disability benefits on September 25, 2009. UNUM refused to reopen or further consider Merion’s claim after she appealed the termination decision and claimed that Merion did not provide the insurer with sufficient documentation to verify her disabled condition under the “own occupation” standard of her Peach County Board of Education disability benefits plan.

Merion’s Georgia Disability Attorney Gives Notice of Merion’s Plan to Initiate Legal Proceedings against UNUM

Claiming that UNUM disregarded Merion’s medical and vocational documents demonstrating that she was indeed disabled, Merion and her Georgia disability attorney had no other options but to file her complaint and allow the United States District Court Macon Decision decide the issue. Using O.C.G.A. § 33-4-6, Merion and her Georgia disability attorney notified UNUM of her intent to: “pursue a bad faith claim if its decision to deny her benefits was not reversed.” UNUM, however, chose to maintain its position concerning Merion’s disability benefits termination.

Merion and Her Disability Attorney ask the Court for Relief

In their complaint, Merion and her Georgia disability attorney ask the District Court to:

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Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Unum. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants nationwide with monthly disability benefits. With more than 40 years of disability insurance experience we have helped individuals in almost every occupation and we are familiar with the disability income policies offered by Unum.

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Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Unum long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

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Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

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No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

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Being disabled is difficult on many levels so the importance – and peace of mind – that comes with having advocates and advisers who not only provide legal expertise and assistance but also genuine care and support is quite literally invaluable. Having attorney Rachel Alters and her paralegal Anneli DeCardenas to help deal with complicated insurance issues has been a true blessing that has made this unfortunate period of my life so, so much easier.

They are not only experienced, talented and incredibly responsive professionals but they have always made me feel like a person who matters and not just a client to be dealt with as part of a daily to-do check list. I’m not someone who usually provides references but I really can’t say enough to express just how wonderful these two incredible women are or how grateful I am that they are on my side.

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