Has your long term disability insurance claim been denied or terminated by Unum? Or  did your disability insurance policy get switched to Unum when they bought another disability company or took over the management of those disability insurance claims? You are not alone in having your claim denied or terminated. At Newfield Law Group, we work with people just like you, every day, who are facing the same situation as you. 

Jason Newfield Has More than Two Decades of Experience Representing People Who Have Been Wrongfully Denied Disability Benefits by Unum

What Disability Insurance Companies Does Unum Own? 

Unum has grown over the years by buying other disability insurance companies and/or the disability portion of other insurance companies. Your Unum policy could be with the following companies:

  • Unum Life Insurance Company of America (ME)
  • First Unum Life Insurance Company (NY)
  • The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company (MA)
  • Unum Insurance Company (ME)
  • Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company (TN)
  • Provident Investment Management LLC (TN)
  • Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company (SC)
  • Provident Life and Casualty Insurance Company (TN)
  • National Life of Vermont (VN)

Our law firm has successfully fought back for many Unum claimants and we are familiar with the strategies used by Unum to deny claims. 

Dismissing the side effects of medications necessary to treat your disability

Chemotherapy isn’t the only medication treatment that can severely impact a person’s ability to think clearly, move freely or have the energy to perform the tasks and duties of their job. Many people take medication to treat their disability but the medication itself makes it impossible for them to perform the necessary tasks of their job. These issues must be properly considered by an insurance company when evaluating disability insurance claims.

Unum has a reputation for dismissing this as a reason for disability. We know better and have succeeded in fighting back for our clients. We prepare powerful submissions that address the medical implications to support the claim.

Treating pain as a subjective symptom that isn’t a disability.

Unum’s general position is that anything which cannot be measured objectively cannot possibly be a disability, especially when it is pain, even when chronic.  Many claimants suffer chronic pain, due to failed or multiple surgeries, or the degeneration of their spine.  Lower back pain, shoulder pain and other orthopedic pain symptoms are often denied if diagnostic tests including x-rays and MRIs do not reveal a structural basis for the pain. Some claims are denied even when the diagnostic tests clearly show evidence of a problem, when Unum determines it lacks a severity to be impairing.

Further, these conditions include the terrible muscle and joint pain and fatigue from ME/CFS – Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue syndrome.  This is one of many pain or fatigue related illnesses and conditions that Unum red flags during the claims review process. There are no specific lab tests to diagnose ME/CFS, and doctors can only make their diagnosis based on a person’s symptoms. As a result, claimants suffering from ME/CFS should prepare for their disability claims with Unum to be challenged.  We have strategies to combat Unum on these cases, utilizing testing to overcome Unum’s positions.

Unum’s Reputation for Wrongfully Denying Disability Claims Has a Long History  

Unum was the subject of several major network news broadcasts (60 Minutes and NBC’s Dateline) for its systematic approach to denying claims, including telling claims adjusters that the more claims they denied, the better their chances of keeping their jobs and earning bonuses. Employees went on national television about the pressure they felt to meet quotas and receive bonuses for denials. 

Unum has been the subject of a class action lawsuit because of these practices, but the moment the company came to a settlement with the class action lawsuit,  and the insurance departments turned away toward others, the company went back to its practice of wrongfully denying and terminating disability insurance claims.

Success Story for Ob/Gyn with Unum Disability

The firm recently wrapped up our work for our disabled OB/GYN infertility specialist client, who had short and long term disability claims both through employment (ERISA) and private policy. Navigating the process from the outset, we were able to smoothly transition him to total disability.

We were able to accomplish our work within his retainer funds, despite multiple insurers, by crafting materials that were powerful and usable across all platforms for his claims, creating efficiencies for the claim management. Our client was shocked to be receiving a refund of a portion of his legal fees.

This client engaged us at the outset of his claim to properly establish the claim issues and develop the necessary support to make the claims get approved smoothly and quickly.

What Can You Do if Unum Denies or Terminates Your Disability Claim? 

Try not to get overwhelmed, which we know is easier to say than to do. It is important to know there are steps you can take, including talking with an experienced disability attorney about your situation. Let the attorney advise you of the options and discuss strategies for success.

Don’t call the insurance company when you are upset. Your call will either be recorded or if not recorded, detailed notes will be taken including comments on whether or not you are agitated or aggressive. Start keeping detailed notes about any contact with Unum. If you do call the company, make sure to log the call – date and time, who you spoke with, their direct phone number and email address and the contents of your phone call. If you are unable to track your calls, have a trusted family member or friend do it for you. 

You will also want to track all of your emails and mail from Unum. Do not discard anything. Be sure to open all of your mail, as there are many companies involved with Unum in addition to the ones listed above. Unum subcontracts to third party administration companies, medical records reviewing companies and others whose name won’t be familiar to you, but who are doing business for Unum.

Do not delay in responding to the denial. If your claim is for a policy you get as part of your job’s benefits, your claim and any attempts to fight back against Unum are governed through a federal law known as ERISA. The denial letter you’ve received from Unum should provide you with at least two pieces of critical information: the reason for your claim being denied and the date by which you need to respond. The time limit is real—if you neglect to respond before the deadline, you may lose any right to fight back against your claim denial.

This makes it very important to speak with an Unum disability insurance lawyer as soon as possible after your claim is denied by Unum. The call is free and there is no obligation. We’ll discuss your claim, your options and discuss how we may be able to help. Our number is (877) 406-7883.

Why is Unum Asking for More Medical Records?

It’s easy to get tripped up when applying for a long term disability insurance claim. The online format seems like it should be easy, but people who have disabilities usually have extensive medical records and it’s hard to know which ones are the most important. In some cases, Unum denies or delays claims on the basis of not having enough medical records. 

Just sending the same medical records that were originally sent will not fix this problem. You may need to speak with your doctor to determine which records they provided to Unum, although this can be challenging. If you personally took medical records from your healthcare provider’s portal, you may have taken the wrong records, or the records may not contain the information Unum’s claims adjusters are looking for.

Our firm works with treating physicians to ensure they are sending medical records, diagnostic reports, and other materials, as well as using the correct phrases to indicate not only the medical diagnosis, but a full description of the tasks and material duties required to perform our client’s jobs. Your doctor is not a long term disability insurance attorney, so they don’t know how to prepare a file for a disability claim or appeal. That’s our job.  

Contact our office today to learn how we can help you with your Unum long term disability insurance claim. We’ll discuss your claim, your options and discuss how we may be able to help. Our number is (877) 406-7883. The call is free and there is no obligation.  See how we can help.