October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, promoted by a wide variety of women’s healthcare organizations with fundraising events and educational programs across the country.
We found it interesting that Unum took the opportunity to issue a press release on breast cancer survivors with a headline reading “More breast cancer survivors returning successfully to work after short term disability leave,” which was immediately followed by the less encouraging fact that the numbers of those who are unable to return to work and file a claim for long-term disability benefits are on the rise.
Unum is one of the largest long and short term disability insurance companies in the world, so their internal data is robust enough to provide some insightful statistical viewpoints.
Cancer is the leading cause of Unum long term disability claims, making up 15% of claims each year with breast cancer the leading type, accounting for 22% of long term disability cancer claims. These are significant numbers and we are sure that the actuaries at Unum are keeping an eye on long term disability claims for breast cancer patients.
We have represented far too many clients suffering from breast cancer whose claims were denied or delayed by long term disability insurance companies. Despite tremendous advances in treatment and earlier diagnosis, breast cancer continues to be a terrifying illness that overwhelms both physically and emotionally. The women and men that we have represented who are suffering from breast cancer wish for nothing more than to have their lives and their health returned to them, and that includes returning to work. When they are unable to return to work, and file a claim for benefits, the last thing they expect is to have to add another battle to their fight for life.
That’s when they call us.