Unum Claimant receives over $103,000 in SSDI payments and Unum files lawsuit seeking repayment of disability benefits. Court Order Claimant to Pay Unum $103,963.30.
A Michigan Federal court recently entered a court Order against a Unum disability claimant and former employee of Allegis Group Inc. The Unum claimant submitted a claim for long term disability benefits in 2011 and Unum paid his claim for approximately 10 years. At some time in 2010 UNUM contacted the claimant and requested him to repay Unum over $100,000 in benefits that he had been paid by Social Security Disability. Unum sent several request for payment to the claimant, but according to court records the claimant either ignored the request or claimed he did not owe the money. The claimant never appealed the repayment and Unum terminated any further payments of his disability benefits. Unum filed a lawsuit for re-payment of the social security disability benefits in 2012.
Unum Disability Claimant Represents Himself in Unum Overpayment Lawsuit
After the lawsuit was filed, the claimant decided to handle the case on his own and not hire an attorney. He filed his own Answer with the Michigan Court and actually appeared at one hearing. The claimant failed to respond to Unum’s Motion for Summary Judgment and on January 30, 2013 the court entered an order against the claimant in the amount of $103,963.30. It is likely that Unum will now begin collection actions against this claimant.
Could the Unum Claimant Avoided Repayment of the SSDI Funds?
Our law firm never represented this claimant, but it appears that he would have had some options had he contacted an ERISA disability attorney or a Michigan Disability Insurance Attorney. There are several cases across the country in which a disability carrier has been limited in their ability to recover a disability overpayment. There is a very technical legal argument that can be made which deals with the law of equities and trust. The claimant in this Michigan case had an exceptionally large overpayment because it seems like Unum may have waited a number of years to ask if he was receiving SSDI payments. If Unum did truly wait a long time, then are argument could have been made that they are stopped from seeking repayment due to a statute of limitations. It is possible that they could have asked and the claimant failed to disclose the payment of his SSDI, which would be insurance fraud.
Our law firm has had cases where we have been able to either eliminate the SSDI overpayment or reduce the amount of any overpayment that may be owed. Not every policy contains an offset provision, but it is important to read your policy and understand the exact offset language. This case is unfortunately an example of one where Unum decided to sue the claimant for repayment. With proper legal representation it is likely that this claimant could have avoided a lawsuit.