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Bad dudesSherry of Spokane 

July 15, 2020

My husband was involved in motorcycle accident that had STD through UNUM through a company he has been working for, for 28years. He has never used this benefit unit his accident. He was out of work for 3.5 months and had to use his benefits. UNUM is now REQUIRING us to pay them back 11K from a settlement that we have not received, claiming that we were OVERPAID and we have one month to pay it back! How can we be overpaid when THEY have to approve the claims?!

Unum has been on a hunt for “estimated” offsets for a long time, and has in fact, been recording estimates outside of ERISA Plan language. Surprisingly, not too many people are challenging Unum’s Aesop Fable of, “you owe us money” even to the point of not requesting a “prove it” of some type. I can tell you that no other insurance company makes the number of mistakes that Unum makes when it comes to offsets. What does that tell you? In my opinion, Unum’s constant hunt for estimates and overpayments may not always be accurate. The unfortunate thing is that Unum deducts estimates and overpayments because they CAN without any Plan authority to do so in most cases I’ve seen recently. The company is violating Plan provisions.

Andrew of Rogers, AR
July 2, 2020

I have to quarantine for 3 weeks, due to Covid-19. I applied for Short-term disability and was told I don’t qualify because I am not disabled. I have a letter from the clinic, I was tested at and a letter from the Health department stating I cannot work. This company is a joke.

I heard from several people who called that Unum and other insurers are getting into trouble for refusing COVID claims. For this issue, however, if someone is tested for COVID and is positive, does that mean they meet the definition of disability because they can’t work? Some would question that since “disability” must result from a medical impairment. Think. If you were tested for any other disease and found be be positive, but with no symptoms, does that mean you meet the definition of disability. The answer is “No”

However, if. you do actually have COVID and are sick and can’t work, are you entitled to disability? The answer is, “Yes!” Testing positive without symptoms does NOT mean you are entitled to disability because you are not permitted to work. Two different things.

Stephanie of Tucson, AZ
June 18, 2020

Got short term disability through my employer to have a CS. When I called Unum to find out what I was covered for. They explained I would be covered for 6 weeks with a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks with a CS. They also said there was no elimination period. I was doubtful about the elimination period so I called back a couple weeks later. They confirmed I would have a 2 week elim period but everything else was the same. I had my CS and received my payments after my elim period and thought everything was good. My payments stopped after 4 weeks. I called and the lady said that my policy didn’t cover a CS. It just said any labor would cover 6 weeks. I then said, “OK but I’ve only received 4 payments”. She said, “The elimination period counts as 2 payments and those are not paid out.” WTF.

Unum is really messed up here. Since there are no benefits paid during the Elimination Period, it does not count for the time the policy does pay. This information is so grossly inaccurate that I would call and ask to speak with the claims handler’s Supervisor and file a complaint.

Stephanie’s complaint is consistent with reports I’ve been hearing that the members from Unum’s STD Department are increasingly rude and that mistakes are made on a frequent basis. This is also consistent with reports of disorganization, and chaos causing late STD payments, or denials. The best thing to do is make a written complaint to Unum’s Complaint Department and follow through.

Heather of Montrose, IL
May 26, 2020

I filed a short-term disability claim. I have been off work for over a month. The woman who is my case worker or whatever you call her is rude and hateful. They have everything they need. Their allowed amount of days are over and still I haven’t heard anything from them! When I call I’m told we have 5 to 7 days. Okay, it’s been past that. I’m a single mother and I have bills to pay and food to buy. They never call back or answer emails. They always have some form of excuse as to why they haven’t done their job. They haven’t even updated my information showing they have my doctor’s paperwork, which they have already stated they had. My doctor’s office stated they sent it over two weeks ago as well. It is one huge game to these people. We pay in, yet, they do not want to pay us when we become ill or injured.

I have been writing about the fact that Unum is a chaotic mess now, and it does not surprise me that Heather had such a hard time. Easy intervention with a COMPLAINT or request to speak with a manager is the best course here, although I doubt the process will get any better. I suspect the company is overwhelmed with STD claims and can’t handle it all.

Janet of Debary, FL April 24, 2020


Dealing with this company has been an absolute nightmare. I first filed our claim 7 months ago. They kept stalling by asking for more and more and more paperwork. Constant delays. It’s now 7 months later and we have not seen one penny yet. The most recent game they played was mailing the first disability check by snail mail instead of direct depositing it like they were supposed to. And to add insult to injury, they debited our checking account for a premium this month that was not supposed to be taken! Ugh! Don’t do business with them, unless you have a huge tolerance for BS!

Careful attention must be taken to determine if you have an ERISA Plan or an IDI policy. ERISA Plans are not open-ended and decisions should be made within 30-45 days. Beyond 90 days ERISA Plan late decisions are a violation of ERISA and Unum can be reported to your regional EBSA or U.S. Department of Labor. The DOL may not do anything but the complaint does signal “big brother is watching.”

March 28, 2020
This is the worst company that can possibly exist. When I filed a claim I was jerked around for over 3 months. After the one hour initial phone interview I realized these people were not going to may my claim. They researched and researched for months sending thousands of forms to fill out. Numerous phone calls to the incompetent claim adjuster only to hear her stupid voice monotonously answer “Still waiting for documents”. After 3 months to the day they found some some excuse to deny claim. Now it’s up to me to take it to arbitration, but the arbitration is their own company. I think a regulatory agency should investigate this company. It’s shameful that one’s legal benefits are denied.
Interesting. In order to get a state regulator interested in doing a “Conduct Market Evaluation” many people would have to write to the regulator requesting it along with filing a complaint. Hum. Americans all want to be “Anonymous” these days, hence, nothing can be done to request “Conduct Market Evaluations.” I’ve kept NCDI, the sister non-profit corporation, open as a forum for insureds to use in order to hold state regulators accountable. Guess what? No one, absolutely no one, wants to go on record with a report. In fact, many of the comments left on this blog are from “Anonymous”. “Anonymous” isn’t going to accomplish any insurance changes. If people aren’t willing to hold insurers accountable through their state regulatory agencies then they cannot expect to be afford their legal rights. You have to actually get out of the chair and do something on the record.

Denise of Bedford, OH
Feb. 27, 2020

When you see the Unum name run baby run. Worst company ever to deal with. My employer uses them to manage FMLA. Unum tries discourage you from using fmla by having doctors fill out the same form several times. I’m a union rep. Unum denied an employee’s fmla because she couldn’t tell them how many days she would miss after chemo!!! We fought. Our employer had it reversed and approved. That’s just one example. If your employer uses them you don’t have a choice. But please don’t purchase on your own. I promise you’ll be sorry!!!!

FMLA is a federal law that protects an employee’s job and benefits for 12 weeks. Employers do not have a choice in this, but HR reps very seldom know anything about it. FMLA paperwork always requires an end date in order to be approved, so have your doctor put one down. It doesn’t have to be exact, but FMLA always requires an end date.

Still, employers should consider very carefully if they want to use Unum’s products, particularly without a “Service Plan” that guarantees certain services and payment of claims . Many employers don’t even realize that they can have a “Service Plan” that holds Unum accountable for certain levels of performance. If Unum fails, a refund of premium is paid. Employers need to know how to protect their employees if they use Unum STD/LTD products.

These complaints are reprinted from the “Consumer Affairs” website. Sometimes readers think I am a little over the top when it comes to Unum, but as you can read, many people are having problems with the company, and it is getting worse.