Unum and ATOS Healthcare, and Veterans (U.K.)


An erudite and concerned disabled military veteran Mrs S… contacted me to say she had spent what little strength she has on research and has additional information that was useful in her dealings with the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SVPA) (www.veterans-uk.info) and ATOS Healthcare (www.atoshealthcare.com). She has provided me with some of her correspondence in the hope that her work can help others…

UNUM’s response to CFIDS claim is appalling (1996)


Nowhere in the LTD contract does it require that the insurer “approve of” my diagnosis, it only requires that I prove I am disabled. Three doctors have documented this. I have accepted my disease and want more than anything to get on with my life…

Sadly, nothing has changed since 1996, as Unum has continued these practices up to the present day.

The Boring Life of a Private Investigator



In 2005, private investigators, hired by Hewlett-Packard to uncover the source of media leaks about the company, used Social Security numbers of H.P. directors to assume their identities and obtain their phone records…

In my work, I am routinely asked to break the law. An attorney once suggested that I bribe a bank officer for account numbers and balances. This could lead to charges of commercial bribery, unlawful possession of personal identification information and larceny. Felonies. A spurned husband once asked me to hack into his wife’s Facebook account and bug her phone and car — which would include computer tampering, trespassing and eavesdropping. Felonies. I’ve been asked to obtain flight manifests, steal trade secrets and impersonate mailmen. Felony. Felony. Felony.

Voices of the disabled


I am about to lose my Home to Sheriff Sale due to ERISA LTD insurance. The Insurance Company has been lying plus making fun of my one diagnosis Breast Cancer.

When the Insurance Company first denied me, I was very ill. Plus, my mother who lived in my home, died two weeks before. I never heard of ERISA. Unfortunately, I don’t believe my first attorney did either. This all started December 2011. I fired that Attorney February of 2014. He had been abusive to me. He also didn’t know what he was doing. I found this out because I was finally able to come to a conference with one of the Judges and the opposing team.

The attorney never talked to me about the case. Granted, I was ill I wasn’t dumb. I hold an undergraduate degree from The University of Pennsylvania. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University. I have a strong work history.

But the first attorney wanted to make the story about me being crazy my primary cause of disability. Even though I went through emergency abdominal surgery, a right breast mastectomy, and multiple other surgeries for my breast.I couldn’t get an ERISA attorney to save my life. First, they wouldn’t talk to me because I had an attorney. Second, when I fired him the ERISA attorneys still would not take my case. So my cousin got his friend, who is an attorney to help me.

That didn’t work either. The LTD Insurance Company acted in bad faith this entire time. The lies they filled my file with are outrageous. What they said in court were all lies about my disability.

I had to get a different attorney to try to help with my home. They were trying to get me an ERISA lawyer, but they were dragging their feet also.

A week ago, while I am trying to still get an ERISA attorney to help me, the secretary examined the court docket and discovered my case had been closed that very day, and I had lost.

I called my house lawyer. I was hysterical. This case had taken everything from me and now my home. The lawyer said he would go through things but I had 14 days to disagree. He called me today with the problem being the Insurance company was saying certain medicines for a diagnosis that was recent so my condition had to be preexisting.

But it wasn’t. The medication I took was for a completely different diagnosis. So I called my doctor’s office. The staff went through everything. The insurance company was completely wrong. I knew this the whole time but I didn’t think the Judge would believe such lies. But that is what happened over and over again.

The doctor’s office is now writing a letter that says not in any way was my medicine for a preexisting condition. And then I have to go fill out some papers to disagree with the Judge. But it has to get done by the end of next week.

I am just beside myself because I can’t lose my home.

Can you please help me? I am thinking of going to the media but I don’t know how and what to say. I really need help.”

Unum’s Pendergrass and Kertay


Personality and Somatoform Disorders in Forensics and Claims for Disability (2007)

Les Kertay, PhD

Incidence estimates show that 10-15% of the population meets criteria for one or more personality disorders and that somatoform disorders are of relatively high frequency in those with nonspecific medical complaints. The presenters contend that significant features of personality disorder impact even more adults seen in clinical practice than incidence estimates suggest, that there is a blurred line between personality and somatoform disorders, and that both are common in those who claim long-term disability with psychiatric features.

Iatrogenic contributions to disability (2005)

Thomas M. Pendergrass, RN, PhD
Les Kertay, PhD

Psychologists are often in a position to have tremendous influence, for both good and ill, on a patient’s functionality with respect to work and other aspects of daily living. The presenters will explore some of the obvious and subtle ways in which psychologists can unwittingly contribute to disability in psychotherapy patients and subjects examined in forensic psychological or neuropsychological settings. Participants will be able to describe (and outline strategies for alleviating or managing) potential iatrogenic factors in psychotherapy, psychological or neuropsychological assessment that may exacerbate disability and dysfunction in patients; and describe the ethical and legal implications of potential iatrogenic factors in psychological assessment and treatment.

ICA Disability Committee

Click to access disabilityreport.pdf

Committee Chairs:
Robert Dubiel, Unum
Brenda Dolan, Federated Insurance
Robert Leveque, Unum
Committee Members:
Patricia Bailer, JHA
Chad Cunningham, Principle Financial
Michael Evans, Sun Life Financial
Harriet Frizie, Munich American
Fred W. Gosman III, F.W. Gosman & Company
Tim Hassett-Salley, The Social Security Law Group
Dan Hepner, Union Central
Angela Papaioannou, Sedgwick CMS
Steve Stribling, Northwestern Mutual Life
Kimberly Whistler, Goldberg Segalla

Motivation in Disability, a Return to Work RX? (Page 15)

To achieve the goals of this paper, I conducted the following interview with Les Kertay, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Pendergrass, RN, Ph.D., Unum Group. Drs. Kertay and Pendergrass have conducted extensive literature review on this topic.

As a prelude to this interview, I asked Drs. Kertay and Pendergrass to describe the basic definitions and concepts of disability that form the foundation of their conclusions about motivation and disability. They view Disability as a bio-psycho-social phenomenon, defined by the following:

BIO: Involves a measurable functional impairment related to a diagnosable condition

PSYCHO: Is heavily influenced by attitudes, motivations, values, and comorbidity

SOCIAL: Occurs in a particular social, political, and legal context…


(Page 39)

Overview of Psychological Impairment within the Industry

To gain an overall perspective of the prevalence of psychiatric impairment in the United States, it is beneficial to consider public sector statistics before exploring the specialized realm of privately purchased individual disability insurance. The Federal Occupational Health Office, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides pertinent public sector disability facts related to psychiatric claims. A few of these statistics are as follows:

• A 335% increase in the cost of psychiatric disability between 1989 and 1995.
• There has been a 300% increase in psychiatric disability claims the last decade.
• Depression alone is estimated to cost employers $24 billion a year in absenteeism and lost productivity.
• 1/3 of all disability cases have a primary or secondary psychiatric component.

The Social Security Administration indicates in their Annual Statistical Supplement-2000

• Mental health disorders currently represent the single most prevalent cause of disability under Title II of SSA, encompassing roughly 26.8 % of all awards…

Looking up medical info on the web poses a privacy risk


Researchers found that nine out of ten visits result in personal health information being leaked to third parties, including online advertisers and data brokers…

The vast majority of these requests go to a handful of online advertisers: Google collects user information from 78% of pages, comScore 38%, and Facebook 31%. Two data brokers, Experian and Acxiom, were also found on thousands of pages…

Libert points out that the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) is not meant to police business practices by third party commercial entities or data brokers. The field of regulation is widely nonexistent in the U.S., meaning that individuals looking up health information online are left exposed and vulnerable.

The findings are reported in the article “Privacy Implications of Health Information Seeking on the Web,” appearing in the March 2015 issue of Communication of the ACM.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Whenever there’s a Windows update, my computer goes bonkers.  So I’ve learned to stop whatever I’m doing when that happens, close everything down, and download the update.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop the damage that can result.  Specifically, I tend to lose documents I’ve stored in Notepad (I don’t have Word) — letters, research, etc.  So I’ve learned that for the really important stuff, I need to copy and paste it into an email, then store it in the cloud.  Well, I’m trying to learn this…

I’ve been working for weeks on a letter for my Unum long term disability case, and I’m facing an important deadline.  And what do you know, the latest update totally erased all my work.  The document is gone.  Dust.  Vanished.  And of course, I didn’t save it in the cloud.  Because I’m stupid.  Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

And I just don’t know how I’m going to recreate it, especially before the deadline…  When you’re in constant pain, it’s so hard to care about shit like this…

In other words, I believe I am fucked.

And computers can really suck:  https://mamamaitri.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/dear-universe/