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Does Unum Deny Claims? Why Would a Disability Claim be Denied?

Friday, July 30th, 2021

Disability claims are denied for many different reasons, but Unum insurance has a reputation for wrongfully denying disability claims.

Unum has been criticized on national news, been involved in class action lawsuits, and been sued by insurance commissioners in several states and by countless individual claimants. The company has paid out millions in fines, acknowledged wrongdoing, and agreed to restructure its claims process and review hundreds of thousands of denied claims.

UNUM Disability Claim Denial attorneys Justin Frankel and Jason Newfield have successfully fought back to get retroactive and current benefits for Unum disability policyholders when their claims have been denied. They are familiar with the tactics used by Unum to deny claims. Here’s what you need to know about Unum Disability Claims:

If your claim is denied, you need an experienced disability lawyer who has gone toe-to-toe with Unum. The claims process is stacked against you and trying to go it alone is risky. Consider the difference it will make for you and your family if you are being paid your rightful disability benefits or not.

If UNUM has asked you to provide more and more information, from personal financial statements to business records to medical records, your claim is being delayed. This is a tactic used to discourage claimants. Unum is counting on you giving up.

If UNUM denies your claim despite receiving medical records clearly proving that you are not able to perform the tasks of your occupation, do not simply send another set of the same records. There are strict limits on how long you have to file an appeal. Call our office at 877-583-2524 to learn more.

Here’s a note we received from a grateful client whose claim was denied by UNUM:

Thank you so much for your advocacy for over two years to get me the retro and future benefits

owed to me by Unum.

You hung in there and spoke for me when I was too tired to fight them myself.

This is life-changing for me – and will help to make my future financial safe.

Thank you,



UNUM uses surveillance methods to gather information to deny claims and build its case against you. Adjusters work with private investigators who monitor your activities. It’s inexpensive to park a car and install a video camera to monitor your comings and goings. And if you’re active on social media, it’s even easier to know what you are doing, how you are feeling and who your friends are. Yes, it’s creepy – – but it’s also easy and inexpensive for the insurance company to do, especially if you’re providing the information voluntarily.


Unum is the largest provider of disability insurance income in the world.  Over the last twenty years, it has purchased many other insurance companies and as a result, its portfolio includes policies that are seen internally as liabilities. The best way to contain these “legacy” or “closed block” products is to deny benefits.


Unum Group’s corporate profile says it all: “Its primary businesses are UNUM US, Colonial Life and Unum International, as well as a closed block of products that are still serviced, but not actively marketed.” We believe this sentence accurately reflects a company policy on denying “legacy” or “closed block” claims.


In 2002, the investigative news show 60 Minutes managed to get several claims representatives from Unum’s Chattanooga, Tennessee office to speak on camera about the company’s practice of offering bonuses and incentives for claims representatives to deny disability benefits. This practice is part of a corporate culture, not the actions of a few rogue employees.  The systemic policies were the reason for one of the class action lawsuits.


There is no bad faith claim in disability insurance, so there is no penalty when a claim is wrongfully denied. Unlike a plaintiff’s case, where a court may award treble damages and set a price on pain and suffering, the only thing an insurance company has to worry about is the cost of staff to deny a claim or process an appeal. There’s no exposure for the company, but for claimants who are denied the benefits, everything is at risk– their home, savings, and lifestyle.


Call our office today at 877-583-2524 and find out how we can help. This is one fight you don’t want to take on your own. With Frankel and Newfield, you don’t have to.


Justin C Frankel

Written By:

Justin C. Frankel - Disability Insurance Attorney

Justin Frankel is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield and is a highly skilled litigator and advocate. He has published numerous articles on the challenges facing clients with private or individual disability insurance policies and those who own group or ERISA disability insurance policies.

Learn more about Justin | See Justin’s Publications



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Sorry, we do not handle SSDI/Social Security claims.

Frankel & Newfield does not currently handle any Social Security Disability Insurance claims.


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This is about a Social Security Disability claim.

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