Unum's best-in-class disability claims management and its partnership with leading advocates for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits has resulted in an SSDI advocacy program that can be twice as successful than if a person sought benefits without any assistance.
When Unum customers are on long term disability leave, our goal is to help them return to improved function and return to work. But if return to work is delayed, we can help qualified customers obtain the SSDI benefits they are entitled to receive.
Depending upon individual circumstances, being approved for SSDI can assist customers in a number of ways, including:
When Unum begins working with customers early in this process, customers are twice as likely to receive approval for SSDI benefits at the initial level.
"Our goal is to help customers apply for SSDI benefits when it's appropriate to do so," said Dennis Hersom, Unum's vice president of Special Benefits. "When we do, we've found customers who go through our program are more successful in getting Social Security benefits than when they file on their own."
The success rates of Unum's advocacy programs for SSDI benefits exceed national averages. That's good for our disability customers, and it's good for their employers, as well.
That success is largely based on two contributing factors. The first is Unum's knowledge of the complex SSDI claims filing process.
"Our experts identify if a customer is likely to meet Social Security's definition of disabled," Hersom said. "After that, we assist our customers through the review and approval process by providing the extensive medical records and claim documentation required. That lets our customers focus on more important things in life than worrying about the intricacies of the filing process."
The second is the access we give our customers to experienced Social Security advocates as well as advocate attorneys at the hearing level in the SSDI process. Access to these professionals ensures each case receives close attention through the entire SSDI process, from application to decision.
"These professionals know their way around Social Security, because many of them worked for the Social Security Administration," said Joy Michaud, an assistant vice president in Unum's Long Term Disability Benefits Department. "They're dedicated to helping our customers apply for and obtain SSDI benefits if it appears they will be disabled from all occupations for an extended period of time."
And they're constantly looking for innovative ways to help our customers get the benefits they deserve.
"We hold an annual summit to discuss how we can expand this innovative program and better serve our customers," Hersom said. "Our goal is to give them all the advantages at our disposal to assist them through the review process."
For our employer clients, this level of expertise ensures that their employees receive the SSDI benefits to which they are entitled. And on the macro level it helps to keep disability rates more stable and affordable.
Social Security advocacy services are provided by GENEX Services, Inc. or The Advocator Group, LLC. Referral to one of our advocacy partners is determined by Unum.