Long Term Disability through UNUM Provident

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kirschbaum26, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member

    Hi:

    I have posted before about my severe RA and not being able to work since March of this year. I used to have 1 year of short term sick through work, which was changed to 6 months. So, when my latest update from the doctor put me near the 6 month mark, my nurse caseworker from my employer suggested that I start the application for Long Term benefits through our carrier, UNUM Provident.

    I have never dealt with such a bunch of idiots in my life. They called the first time and were very nasty...asking me what was wrong with me, and why I needed to apply for long term benefits. After I explained they were even rudder and told me to apply for short term benefits from my employer. I had to explain again, that I was already getting short term benefits. They said they would send out some forms for me to take to my doctors. They asked for their names and phone numbers (I am seeing 5 different doctors at the moment).

    2 weeks ago I get a call from them again...asking if I was applying for long term or short term benefits. I told them I alreay had short term benefits through work, and was covered by SDI (California State Disability). They said they would send out forms.

    Yesterday, I received a copy of the letter they sent to my cardiologist, instead of my PCP as I had requested. I have only seen him 2 times, and had an echocardiogram done in his office. I have an appointment next week, and I can imagine what he is going to say. I am not sure if my heart condition (atrial fibrillation) warrants being off work or not, but I feel it is the least of my problems. I still have active RA flare that is not responding to any treatment, abnormal ob/gyn bleeding, cramps, pain, abnormal blood tests for just about everything, liver problems, blood sugar problems, etc. I had hoped that my PCP doctor could be the gatekeeper for all these forms. So now I have to call them again and try to get them to send the forms to my PCP.

    What a pain in the but! I also read the "attending physician statement" form and one of the questions deals with "physchological features". Also lists basic abilities (sit, stand, walk, etc) and for how long. Wow. Had no idea that it would be this detailed.

    Anyone else have dealings with UNUM Provident?

    Thanks.

    Ingrid
  2. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    They are crooked as a dog's hind legs.

    The FEDS just slapped them with big time penalties.

    They turned down a neurosurgeon who had Parkinson's Disease.

    I have them, and I had the battle of a lifetime getting my benefits.

    I wa still working, but it took a toll. Then, I had a horrible injury, as in career and most of life's getting around ending.

    They turned me down first, then wouldnt' give a copy of the work description upon which they based it.

    THEY DID ALL THESE ILLEGAL THINGS. I CONTACTED THE STATE BOARD OF INSURANCE, SENT IN COPIES OF EVERYTHING, TOLD THEM OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS, STARTED RECORDING THEM, AS THAT IS LEGAL IN MY STATE, AND THE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JUMPED ALL OVER THEM.

    Then, I wrote a list of my duties, and I was a medical professional.

    I addressed, one by one the things which I was required to do, that I no longer could do.

    Then, I detailed when I had used the things I couldn't do now, in the past to save people's lives, and had I had to wait for someone to assist me, they would have died.

    Then, I listed all the medications I was taking which made it impossible for me to work.

    In your case, RA has so many documented serious things, just list them, and how the effects of it, including severe fatigue, or even the inability to have the strength to get up and get groomed and dressed, and get to work is too much, as I am sure it is.

    Recently, I became so exhausted from just doing my doctor visits, one week, that I could barely go to the bathroom.
  3. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member

    Dear TXFMMOM:

    I had read that they just got a big fine...and that is what made me worried. I think that since my company merged (I used to work for TRW and now work for Northrop Grumman) that we got a new carrier. Just my luck.

    It is funny, as I have FM as well as RA. My FM symptoms are not debilitating at this time, my big issue seems to be my hands due to RA, as well as my hips and ankles. I also have issues with my back and cervical spine, but do not care to address those until it is impossible for me to function.

    It used to take me 30 minutes in the morning to gently "stretch" my stiffness away (after a very hot shower) and it now takes me nearly 2 hours.

    I know that I cannot work at this time, but I also hope that the symptoms that are causing me to be in this bad flare, will improve and hopefully, I will be able to return to work, as I really enjoyed my job, as well as working.

    I guess I should just start keeping a log of my dealings with UNUM Provident. I know I cannot record any phone conversations in my state, even if I tell them that I am doing so. Oh well. Guess that the insurance industry is something that we need to overhaul...too bad the focus is on home insurance after Katrina and Rita and the big discussion about flood insurance and whether or not a storm surge caused by a hurricane is covered.

    Thanks for the info.

    Take care,
    Ingrid
  4. wildflowers2

    wildflowers2 New Member

    the one that sugested to say put everything in writing is correct.

    However, I will echo the same words..But, GET a Lawyer NOW.

    Do not play ganes with these people they are scum.

    They will jerk you around for a year. I have LTD thru a co in NY. I have been fighting it since last SEPT.

    THey out you thru the dog and pony show.Send faxes to the worng Dr's on purpose.

    GET all your medical records yourself as you will need them for social security disability as well.

    THEY do tape all in.out bound calls. ANd be prepared for a lot of crap.


    They take you reports and twust them around and drive you nuts.

    I got a lawyer after the last time they said.Oh we NEED more medical records.

    So, thank goodnees hubby is older than I and has AARP

    AARP lawyers are less expensive and do an excellent job.


    Do not fight them yourself....GEt a lawyer now.......


    ANd also file for SSD NOW......


    MAn, this made my blood boil.


    Be prepared also that they will survailance you.


    look under other posts on survailance.

    and your insurance co
    seems alot of the medical profession use them.



    PLus GET a copy OF the insurance policy

    WHY? simple they have it written in that cfs/fm is MENTAL

    they label it also...DEpression..

    SO, they only pay for 24 months.


    Whne I can think of more I will write.

    GOOD luck.

    WIldflowers2







  5. rigby

    rigby New Member

    It took me over 3 1/2 years but I won now they pay me monthly after they had to catch up. I had to get a lawyer for STD and then he told me what to do for the long term which I got with out him. Sharon
  6. findmind

    findmind New Member

    I double ditto all those who tell you two things:

    1) They are crooks; administrators, not your dr., make unsconsciable (sp!) decisions regarding your very life.

    2) Get a good disability lawyer firm immediately, and let them know you need them to do all the work, that you are too sick to do so.

    Then, keep very good records of all you have to do to help your lawyers, as they, too, seem to lose records, not send for records, etc.

    Prepare for the battle of your life, becuz even tho' UNAM has been censored, fined, etc., it means nothing to them. They got caught in the middle of this FM and CFS, RA and Parkinson's, etc., epidemic, but those who got coverage thru their employers are entitled to it when they get sick.

    I warn all I know that they should get not only life insurance but private disability insurance, the best they can afford, and better when they can afford better, before any sickness strikes them down.

    Good luck, Ingrid, with your battle. Try to keep yourself together, with lots of rest and peaceful things to do, cuz UNAM will try to destroy you...don't let them!

    There's always hope!
    findmind
  7. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member

    Thanks to all who replied with advice. I am a bit overwhelmed rightnow, but will consider getting a disability lawyer soon. I am still hoping to go back to work...at the company that I am currently employed at...and I am just coming up on 4 months on STD...

    I have been having some bad days. Barely able to take care of myself...and not able to take care of my daughter. Days when I do not feel well enough to go out and drive anywhere, and a walk to the mailbox convinces me that I am just not well.

    I am not on any pain medication besides advil, but am coming to the point that I think I need some.

    Thanks again for all of your advice and I will carefully consider it.

    Ingrid
  8. 1975jet

    1975jet New Member

    Oh my god, I feel for you- I heard they were the worse for long Term Disab. forgot wwhere I read it- BUT do get a lawyer and sue the suckers if you can. It just is not right.

    I had applied for long term last year from work, was on short term- the company was Jefferson Pilot- the denied me
    what they wrote had nothing at all to do with the work I have done. They also were rude on the phone. I appealed the denial and was denied again- even had more documents.
    I gave up and just recently applied for SSD - I could not keep wasting my energy and got sooo more depressed, it almost ruined me...

    I realize there is alot with SSD, too. Just couldn't take it anymore.

    The Best to you hope it works out
    Janet
  9. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    They are permitted to contact you, HOWEVER AS ANOTHER SAID.

    TELL THEM TO DO IT VIA LETTER, ETC. IN WRITING. NO CALLS.

    IF THEY CONTINUE, RECORD THEM, IF IT IS LEGAL IN YOUR STATE.

    Then, SEND EVERYTHING TO THEM CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED. THEY WILL CLAIM THEY NEVER RECEIVED IT.

    BE SURE AND MAKE COPIES OF EVERYTHING YOU SEND THEM. EVERYTHING. HAVE THE MATERIAL NOTARIZED AS TO YOUR SIGNATURE BEING MADE ON THAT DATE ON THE BACK OF THE MATERIAL.

    Then, consult the State Insurance Commissioner in your state.

    If you got this through your employer, contact THE LABOR DEPARTMENT AND GET A COPY OF YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE ERISSA ACT.

    Then, LET UNUM KNOW YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR RIGHTS ARE. KEEP THE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER INFORMED, IF THEY START JERKING YOU AROUND, AND IT WOULDNT' HURT TO SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY ABOUT IT, AND SEE IF HE CAN WRITE THEM A LETTER JUST LETTING THEM KNOW HE IS ADVISING YOU. YOU CAN PAY JUST FOR THE LETTER, AND THEN HIRE HIM FOR A FULL FRONTAL ASSAULT, WHEN NEEDED.

    Keep the insurance commissioner on their heels, and if you have a legitimate case, and they screw you, IT IS A FEDERAL THING UNDER ERISSA.

  10. obrnlc

    obrnlc New Member

    hi ingrid, i am sorry you have to deal with these slimy scum, please see my previous posts for lots of info on them! and remember--NEVER say that you CAN'T do something, only that you rarely do it or that it is very difficult for you. Good luck--L
    PS--hi wildflowers!