Unum approves long term disability benefits for a financial advisor diagnosed with multiple disc herniations in her neck
Our client was a successful, experienced financial advisor who operated her own practice. In December of 2008, while stopped at a red light, her car was hit from behind by a cement mixer. As a result of the accident she sustained multiple disc herniations in her neck, and pain that radiated into her shoulders and down her arms. Despite her efforts to continue working following the auto accident, she was unable to do so. No longer able to advise her clients as to important financial decisions affecting their futures, she was left with little choice but to apply for long term disability benefits under her individual disability policy purchased from Unum. In April of 2009 she contacted Dell and Schaefer to assist with her application for long-term disability benefits. Despite our client contacting us in April of 2009 and her continued attempts to work, we were able to prove that her date of disability should be the same as the date of her accident.
After gathering all the information necessary to properly present her claim for disability benefits, Dell and Schaefer submitted her disability application in mid May 2009. From the time the application was submitted, Unum began to delay the processing of her claim. Despite overwhelming medical support of a severe neck injury, which her doctors indicated would require surgery to repair; Unum sent her claim for two separate medical reviews. Unum had our client’s reviewed by both their in-house medical doctor and an outside medical doctor. Unum required an hour long field interview, asking questions already answered in her application and in subsequent responses to requests for information, all in an attempt to find any inconsistency with which to deny her claim. Unum continued to “evaluate” her claim for over a month and a half, citing medical records review and vocational reviews as reasons for the delay. Attorneys Dell and Schaefer sent multiple letters and made numerous phone calls to demand payment of disability benefits to our client.
In August of 2009, unable to deal with the pain and discomfort, she underwent surgery to fuse two vertebrae in her neck. Attorneys Dell and Schaefer contacted Unum immediately regarding the same and forwarded the applicable records to ensure Unum would not try to delay any longer. Within a week Unum finally approved her claim and forwarded a check for all back and present benefits due. However, this will most likely not be the end of the fight with Unum. Within two weeks of her surgery Unum was already demanding updated forms inquiring as to her intent to return to work and her daily activities. Unum made it very clear that approval for long term disability benefits is a month to month evaluation. Attorneys Dell and Schaefer will continue to fight for her rights to long-term disability benefits while she focuses on recovering from surgery.
Attorneys Gregory Dell and Stephen Jessup assisted her in applying for, and maintaining her benefits. Attorneys Dell and Schaefer assists numerous clients each month in maintaining their claim, acting as the liaison between the insurance company and our clients.