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UnumProvident Claimants Denied Between 1997 and 1999 Are Reminded That the Clock Is Ticking Away

Frank Darras reminds policyholders with Unum Life Insurance Co. of America, UnumProvident (NYSE: UNM), Paul Revere Life Insurance Co., Unum National Insurance Co., and Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co., whose claims were denied between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 1999 that the Company will NOT BE SENDING OUT ANY NOTICE about re-assessing claims as a part of the Multi-State Settlement Agreement.

Claimants in this non-noticed group will have 180 days from the date their state signed the multi-state agreement to formally request to participate. All states except California and Montana have signed the agreement and time is quickly evaporating in 48 states as the clock ticks down to the 180-day deadline. Since there is no formal notice, the only way these disabled will learn of their chance to reclaim their lives is by news coverage, the Internet or word of mouth.

“As time marches on and 215,000 disabled people are affected, we continue to stress the importance of getting the word out to these non-noticed policyholders. These disabled deserve to know about this opportunity and the process is complicated by different time limits affecting the 1997-1999 denials and the 2000-2004 denials. We are doing everything we can to spread the reassessment word and remind policyholders of the different timing requirements so those truly disabled are not left behind,” says Darras.

“Today’s press release is to remind those claimants denied between 1-1-97 and 12-31-99 that they need to take action to be included and have their claims reviewed, or lose the opportunity forever. 180 days can pass very quickly and time is ticking away as we approach the 120-day mark.”

“It is important for all claimants to understand the basics of the reassessment process and we are here to help, provide encouragement and sound advice to help these disabled regain their lives,” Darras continues, “opening up a dusty claim box, filled with disappointment, can be a difficult if not overwhelming experience. It is important to understand exactly what the settlement agreement with UnumProvident means and how you can reclaim your benefits”

Here are some tips on working through the reassessment process:

First, don’t give up, you can do this and NOW is the time!

Second, if you were denied between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 1999, you have 180 days from the date your state signed on to the Multi-State Settlement Agreement to make your formal request, so the Company will allow you to participate. Your formal request should include:

  1. Your Name
  2. Your Current Address
  3. Insuring Company Name
  4. Last four digits of social security number
  5. Claim number
  6. Date of claim

For questions concerning your claim or if you are not sure of the location to mail your formal request, please call 800-898-7299 and we will help you through the process.

Third, the reassessment will allow you to include your social security disability award whether you received it before or after your denial. As a result of the reassessment, the Company will now generally give that decision significant weight.

Fourth, your treating doctor’s opinion that you are disabled will now include both your subjective and your objective evidence of impairment.

Fifth, if you were disabled from more than one condition, UnumProvident will now collectively evaluate all of your limitations including side-affects from your medications to determine impairment.

Six, if an independent examiner is necessary to break any disability ties on impairment; an unbiased, financially disinterested, fully trained and skilled examiner must now be selected.

Seventh, before any in-house Company doctor can opine on your impairment, they must now be skilled, trained and have all of your medical information in hand before a final decision will be made.

Eighth, upper claim management will now be involved at the earliest stages of the claim process to lend breadth and depth of experience to all reassessment decisions.
Ninth, claim personnel involved in the reassessment process will now undergo rigorous training on the new claim objectives to ensure Best Claim Practices with vigilant monitoring and oversight.

Last, and certainly not least, the Company has agreed to keep all of the new claim objectives in place after the reassessment process concludes December 31, 2006. These new objectives will create a good faith checklist so claim personnel can continue to improve their good faith handling on all UnumProvident disability claims. “We are privileged to be helping claimants in every state that has signed on, get hard answers to tough reassessment questions,” says Darras.

Individuals with questions are encouraged to call Frank Darras at 1- 800-898-7299 or visit the website at www.DarrasLaw.com. For information on UnumProvident, you can visit http://www.state.tn.us/commerce/insurance/unum/AgreeExhibit1- ReassessProcess.pdf

DarrasLaw is Americas' most honored and decorated disability litigation firm in the country. Mr. Darras has seen more, evaluated more, litigated more, and resolved more individual and group long term disability and long-term care cases than any other lawyer in the United States.

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