While it is pretty common for disability insurance companies to require policyholders to apply for social security disability benefits, getting approval by SSD can end up costing you your LTD disability insurance benefits from Unum — or at least part of them. The average policyholder is OK with this until the disability insurance companies also seek to claim those social security benefits for your children (that they aren’t even entitled to), too. If that situation has happened to you, newest plaintiff William E. Sorrell can sympathize.
Sorrell has filed a lawsuit against Unum after becoming disabled in June 2001. The man filed for LTD benefits by July 16 as well as filing for social security disability benefits as his plan under Unum requires. From October 2001 to January 2005, Unum paid Sorrell’s benefits every month. However, once the social security administration (SSA) approved the man’s claim, he started receiving benefits from them from August 3rd, 2003, onwards. But they also determined that Sorrell was entitled to get payments from January 2005 onwards. This is where things get tricky for Sorrell.
According to his Unum policy, Sorrel had to reimburse Unum for the overpayment of the benefits that he got from the insurance company from the months of August 2003 through December 2004. Sorrel paid them as soon as got his payment from the SSA. Then in January 2005, Unum lowered Sorrell’s disability insurance payment, claiming that the plaintiff was also supposed to reimburse Unum for social security benefits that Sorrell’s ex wife received for their daughter (who she has sole custody of). Because of this, Sorrel never got his payments from Unum because the money went directly to his ex-wife. So why must he pay that money that he never received back?
That is exactly what Sorrell wanted to know. So he filed a lawsuit against Unum for breach of contract and acting in bad faith. It just didn’t make sense to Sorrell to have to pay Unum back monies that he never received. Sorrell is also suing Unum for unconscionable LTD contract and ambiguity in the policy language.
If you feel that Unum has acted in bad faith while handling your disability insurance claim, contact disability insurance lawyer Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting against insurance companies and may be able to help you get the money you are owed.