Unum Disability Insurance Claims Attorneys
Unum Group is a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based insurance company created by the 1999 merger of Unum Corporation and The Provident Companies. The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company and Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company are both Unum underwriting insurers.
According to Unum, the company protects 36 million people worldwide, and 193,000 businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom offer benefits provided by Unum. The company claims it pays $7 billion in benefits every year.
Are you or your loved one attempting to file a disability claim with Unum? You are going to be best served by having an experienced lawyer on your side.
Abell and Capitan Law helps people, not insurance companies, and we will fight to make sure you receive all of the benefits you are entitled to. Call (267) 419-7888 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Do I Need A Unum Disability Insurance Claims Lawyer?
Unum is an insurance company, which means that it is usually going to be working against you to limit what it has to pay. You should not mistake a representative’s friendliness as Unum being on your side.
You are going to want to have an attorney review your initial application. A lawyer can identify the common mistakes that lead to delays or denials and make sure that your application is complete with as much information as needed to render a decision.
An attorney will also be able to identify when Unum has not correctly handled your claim. The lawyer will be able to determine the next best steps to take when Unum commits an error in the administration of your application.
Unum has frequently delayed paying claims by claiming that they are managing the applications, and an attorney can make sure that you are not subject to unnecessary delays in the handling of your claim. A lawyer is going to know how to react to every single hurdle that Unum attempts to put in your way of receiving benefits.
Why Choose Abell and Capitan Law To Help Me With My Disability Claim?
Do not think that you cannot afford an attorney. Abell and Capitan Law does not collect any legal fees from you until you receive a monetary award.
Erik Abell earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kentucky and a Juris Doctor from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. He regularly litigates ERISA governed disability claims in federal courts all over the nation.
Joe Capitan is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Philadelphia Bar Association, and Pennsylvania Association for Justice. Super Lawyers named him a Pennsylvania Rising Star in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Our firm has Pennsylvania offices in Chadds Ford, Philadelphia, and Newtown Square as well as Louisville, Kentucky. We will work towards a settlement that covers all of your needs and can take your case to court when it is necessary to recover just compensation.
Types of Unum Disability Insurance Claim Cases We Handle
On November 14, 2002, “60 Minutes” reported that Unum (then known as UnumProvident) provided 17 million Americans with disability insurance privately or through their employers and was the largest disability insurance company with 22 percent of America’s largest corporations using it. Diane McGinnis worked at UnumProvident as a claims handler at the company’s headquarters in Chattanooga and claimed that the company told its workers they had to shut down enough claims to meet monthly targets in the millions of dollars.
“I don’t think it was about whether they deserved to be closed,” McGinnis said. “They had to be closed. They needed to make these projections.”
McGinnis said there were many times that Unum shut down claims they knew were legitimate. Dr. Fergal McSharry worked for UnumProvident almost two years as an in-house physician reviewing disability claims and told “60 Minutes” that Unum pressured him and other doctors to go along with the decisions of claims handlers to terminate claims. “The decision was nearly always made, and we were not to upset the apple cart and give this opinion which is contrary to everybody else’s,” McSharry said.
In October 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported that California insurance regulators announced that they would be fining Unum $8 million, requiring the company to reopen up to 26,000 California cases, and demanding that Unum alter the policies it sells in the state to include greater consumer protections. The action came as a settlement with Unum and the regulators said they intended to impose similar policy changes on all firms licensed to sell disability insurance in California.
Unum claims that the top five reasons people use short-term disability insurance include maternity leave, injuries (excluding back), joint disorders, back disorders, and digestive disorders. Short-term disability benefits are dependent on a person’s pre-disability earnings (usually 60 percent of a person’s income) and the benefit percentage allowed in the policy.
The most common reasons for long-term disability insurance, according to Unum, are cancer, back disorders (excluding injury), injuries, cardiovascular disorders, and joint disorders. Long-term disability benefits can be monthly payments of up to 60 percent of a person’s ordinary income.
Unum also offers individual disability insurance that pays a higher percentage of your pre-disability earnings. Short-term disability insurance can be paid for between nine to 52 weeks while long-term and individual disability insurance provide benefits until retirement age. Short-term disability insurance with Unum may be portable with specific plans, long-term disability insurance is often portable, and individual disability insurance is fully portable.
One of the most common reasons Unum denies disability claims is because a person’s injury or illness does not satisfy the company’s definition of a disability. Unum may also deny an application and allege that you misrepresented information in your application, your injury was self-inflicted, or perhaps most commonly, that your disability was a preexisting condition.
Some Unum plans may be regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which requires an ERISA appeal before litigation can be initiated against Unum. You will want to be sure that you have an attorney any time that you are facing possible ERISA issues.
Another reason to have a lawyer is if Unum makes any unusual requests of you. You may be presented with several forms to be completed by your doctor that are designed to minimize the effects of your disability.
Unum could refer you to one of their selected doctors, like the aforementioned Dr. McSharry, for an independent medical examination (IME). You will want to have legal representation before agreeing to any IME, as these visits are routinely used by Unum to try and get a medical opinion that justifies denying your claim.
When Unum denies your claim, the notification is typically mailed to you. The letter should not only provide the reasons for the denial, but it should also include the date that an appeal would have to be filed by.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Exclusions vary by policy, but general Unum exclusions include disabilities caused by intentionally self-inflicted injuries, active participation in a riot, loss of professional or occupational license or certificate, or commission of a crime for which the individual has been convicted.
For short-term disability claims, exclusions include occupational sickness or injury (although Unum may cover disabilities due to occupational illnesses or injuries for partners or sole proprietors who cannot be covered by Workers’ Compensation plans), pre-existing conditions, war, declared or undeclared, or any act of war, and any period of disability during which an employee is incarcerated.
Contact an Unum Disability Insurance Claims Attorney Today
If you or your loved one need help with an Unum disability insurance claim, know that you do not have to deal with everything by yourself. You can benefit from working with a skilled lawyer who can help you get a quicker and more lucrative resolution to your claim.
Abell and Capitan Law customizes each appeal and claim strategy according to a client’s specific situation. We can examine your case as soon as you call (267) 419-7888 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.