Disability insurance lawyers Frankel & Newfield represent people who have disability policies with Unum, First UNUM, Provident Life, National Life of Vermont, and Paul Revere (UNUM Group) and the many other companies that are owned by Unum Provident, when their disability claims have been denied, delayed or need to be appealed.
As the single largest disability insurance company in the world, Unum Provident has a huge impact on how claimants are treated. When the company further tightens up its already stringent requirements for claims to be paid, we can tell based on the number of phone calls and emails our office receives.
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If you have a disability policy with Unum Provident or any of its subsidiary companies (see the list below), be prepared for some tough going. The company has a history of wrongfully denying claims that were exposed through a class action lawsuit and numerous TV exposes. It became public knowledge that the company had an internal scheme that included a systematic process of deliberately denying disability claims. Internal memos were revealed that proved that UNUM not only deliberately denied disability claims, but it also instructed claims adjusters that the more claims they denied, the more likely they would keep their jobs and earn incentive bonuses.
Investigative news reports on 60 Minutes and Dateline featured interviews with former employees who spoke out on national television about a quota system and bonuses for claims denials. Unfortunately, once the company was out of the national spotlight and the governmental inquiries finalized and the dust settled, things went back to how they had been before the class action lawsuit. Thus, we see many of the same tactics still employed today in claims being delayed, denied and terminated. One particular focus seems to be on claims with potential lifetime benefits.
If your disability insurance policy is from any of these companies, you have a Unum policy:
Frankel & Newfield has represented many clients against Unum and its subsidiaries. If you or a loved one are struggling with a long term disability insurance claim with Unum, we suggested you protect yourself by contacting our office and learning how we can help. Our partners will discuss your situation in a free consultation and you will have a better understanding of what can be done to protect yourself and your family. Call us today at 877-583-2524 for a free consultation.
Unum has unlimited resources that can be used to tangle a claim and delay making payments. There is typically no downside for Unum to delay your claim, while your financial well-being is being put at risk. A claims adjuster may ask for additional information, saying they cannot process your claim without it. You may be too sick to be able to put together the information. Or you may not understand that there are limits to the type of information the claims adjuster is allowed to ask you to provide. Unum takes advantage of this.
If your claim comes through your employee benefits, your claim is governed by a federal law known as ERISA. Most people don’t know that the information you provide to the insurance company is being looked at with an eye toward denying the claim and, even worse, to build a case against ever paying the claim.
Using a website portal to submit claims seems like an easy task, so much so that many people think that the application process is simple and straightforward. That’s where they run into trouble. There are numerous pitfalls that the average person is not aware of. Our firm can help.
Frankel & Newfield represented a doctor who had been on residual disability for more than ten years as the result of an illness that limited his ability to perform the tasks of an OB/GYN. As a result of our effective representation, he was able to navigate the transition from residual disability to total disability. The doctor now receives his full benefits – more than $20,000 per month – for the rest of his life. This is but one of hundreds of doctors we have successfully navigated private disability insurance claims for with UNUM.Ready To Talk?
Our law firm represents people at all stages of the disability claim, starting as early as before they decide to file a claim. We know that all calls to Unum are going to be recorded and/or logged, but you may not know this – or what steps you need to take to protect yourself with a detailed record of contact with the insurance company. Claimants are also struggling with their impairment during this process, so keeping careful track of every conversation, email or traditional mail can easily become overwhelming. Our office manages the process for clients on a daily basis.
Unum has field representatives who are tasked with going to people’s homes, often unannounced, to conduct interviews. We consider this an intrusive tactic. The last thing you want while you are suffering from a disability that has turned your life upside down is to have a stranger show up on your doorstep who insists on having a conversation right then and there. While COVID has diminished this practice to some degree, it has not completely been eliminated. And whether in person or not, it is more likely a hostile interaction, rather than a friendly one.
Our clients know they can call our office and we will protect their interests when an insurance company representative insists this interview is necessary if the person is to continue to remain on claim. Someone who has no experience with these and other tactics will not know that they have the right to shut the door, politely of course, on anyone claiming to be from the insurance company. The same occurs when an investigator contacts neighbors for what seem like casual conversations about a neighbor who is on claim. These are just a few of the tactics used by the insurance company. There are many more. Discrete surveillance is often conducted, and can severely damage a claim.Ready To Talk?
Frankel & Newfield successfully appealed a Unum ERISA long term disability insurance claim termination for a paralegal who suffers from Meniere’s Disease and Tinnitus. Unum had terminated her claim upon the basis of a paper review conducted by a well-known pro-insurer consulting physician. The doctor never met her, only read some selected medical records, and is a doctor whose sole practice consists of doing these paper reviews for insurance companies. We attacked the medical and vocational evidence Unum used to terminate the claim and overturned the claim. She continues to be paid her substantial monthly benefit. We submitted audio evidence to demonstrate the pervasiveness of the Tinnitus, which helped to secure her claim reinstatement – and she remains on claim still.
If you have a disability claim with Unum that has been denied, or if a UNUM claims adjuster is trying to get you to settle your case for far less than its value, call our office at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524) and learn how Frankel & Newfield can help. The call is free, there is no obligation, and you will gain a better understanding of what you are up against.Ready To Talk?
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.
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