‘Our support for disabled people’ ~ UNUM replies to our letter to ‘attacking Unum’s reputation’ in The Guardian


The letter (13 September) from John McArdle and Dr Stephen Carty of the Black Triangle Campaign attacked Unum’s reputation.

At Unum we are proud of the work we do to protect the income of and provide support to people with long-term illnesses or injuries that prevent them from working.

The financial protection we offer continues until they either recover and are able to return to work, or until they reach retirement.

We also offer rehabilitation support to those returning to work after a long-term illness.

Unum is committed to improving the understanding of the factors that influence health, illness, recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. That’s why we took part in the International Forum on Disability Management at Imperial College London.

We work hard to protect the incomes of more than 1.9 million people in the UK.

We are proud to have paid out more than £5m a week in benefits to our customers last year.

Marco Forato

Chief marketing officer, Unum UK

Letters to The Guardian

Black Triangle is formulating its response. Please feel free to comment.


22 thoughts on “‘Our support for disabled people’ ~ UNUM replies to our letter to ‘attacking Unum’s reputation’ in The Guardian

  1. sandra noble says:

    i am 60 years old have osteo arthritis copd and brittle bone i use a walking stick and very rarely go out as i am afraid of falling, i am also waiting for a knee replacement,today i was told i was on the work related activity,i live in an adapted bungalow for a reason i can’t use stairs. i have taken care of my own parents when they were elderly and ill i got no help from anyone saving the goverment a fortune!!! now that i am desprate for help where is it??? this goverment have let the people down BIG TIME and they are under the illusion they will get a second turm.i turned 60 a few weeks ago so they also robbed me of my pension.where is the fairness.i have paid my dues,the posh boys are ruining this country and because you know you will not get a second turm your doing all you can to distroy not only the country but it’s people also you should all hang your heads in shame…..

  2. papasmurf says:

    What about the class action in America which Unum lost?
    Why has Unum stopped selling policies to individuals in Britain?

  3. Annie Bishop says:

    I clearly live in a different universe as my understanding of providing support is not the same as Mr Forato

  4. kelpimare says:

    This is the same company that denies ME as a physical illness, that claims ME is, basically and without the pseudoscience, all in the mind? That has implied that alp that is holding disabled back from doing whatever, is their own lack of self-belief?? That dos not take into account the effects of various medication disabled people MUST take to, well, exist?
    It is a source of great shame for great Britain that our parliamentary representatives sees fit to sell off parts of the NHS to themselves and family and business associates and, thru greed, encourage this type of company to feed off of the people they we meant to protect ABOVE THEIR OWN SELF-INTEREST.

    1. Benjamin Kidd says:

      Yes I have ME also (for 22 years now) and I agree totally, my head is in a mess now so I am findin cognative ability impossible (I am dictating this) so thought I would just say thanks for putting this across hope you are as well as can be.

  5. christine redmond says:

    how can you say you are supporting people when your even stopping independant living people who are disabled and working qualify for this but without it wouldnt be able to go to work, how can you overide a consultants specialist report ??? you are no more than an IT comapny…….YOU TREATMENT TOWARD DISABLED PEOPLE IS WORSE THAN WHAT HITLER DONE………WELL I CERTAINLY WOULD NEVER BE PUT IN ANY HOME ,RESIDENTIAL ECT, I WOULD DO MY SELF IN FIRST………YOUR COMPANY HAS BEEN SUED IN US FOR YOUR TREATMENT ON PEOPLE SO NOW YOUR HIRED BY OUR CORRUPT GVT……WELL THEY WONT BE THERE FOR LONG NEITHER WILL ANY GVT THAT EMPLOYS YOUR COMPANY.

  6. jeffery davies says:

    unum pay out if this was put to whot they take in would be peanuts and should not be over here as have whot they done in and still doing to the american people of denying them their benefits how come they still here crooks and more crooks envited by blair get rid jeff3

  7. britishroses says:

    Unum are in business to make a profit you have spent years denying benefits to disabled people and spent goodness knows how much money fighting in court to deny paying out. Luckily for people we have the internet and news is travelling all over the globe about just what kind of company you are and what lengths you will go to not pay out benefits. The US has had you in court over your behaviour many times the people of England will do the same.

  8. pete says:

    1. We are NOT CUSTOMERS – we are CITIZENS

    2.Reply written by a twelve year old just before going to the toilet.

    3. Fuck off Unum

  9. eomunda says:

    I note that there is no mention of people with long term permanent disabilities, just long term illnesses and people with injuries that prevent them from working. As someone with a disability from birth this concerns me and my disability is permanent and there is no chance of rehabilitation or getting better. Should i to be concerned by the wording used here?

  10. peter smith says:

    We are proud to have paid out more than £5m a week in benefits to our customers last year. WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DWP FFS. I AINT ONE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS AND WILL NEVER BE

  11. Joanna Terry says:

    I know what reply I want to give them but I would probably be too offensive. these are the same people that believe that you obviously are not trying hard enough to think positively when your amputated limb doesn’t grow back. I hate the bandwagons they and other “alternative” co-horts jump onto as the miracle cure. I argue all the time about acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal and mindfulness. All good if it works for you but if it doesn’t then why should it be the fault of the patient, or is it because they cannot stand the disonance these “therapies” must set up in their brains. they are the ones with the mental problems, not us, who may suffer from all sorts of breakdowns but at least we’re honest about our limitations. My chronic depression will never improve, my thyroid is f###ked, I also have FM and several other problems, if thinking positively would have helped I would have been cured by now, it’s not lack of trying. would these same people cope with the constant pain, I very much doubt it, I would love them to try one day of it, every day for weeks and weeks and weeks and then tell us it’s because we are not positive enough. I doubt they’ed last though, I can see them becoming suicidal very quickly when their lives disintergrate around them and the sleep deprivation sets in. Don’t give them an inch John they definately do not deserve any. WE SHALL NOT LET THEM PASS.

  12. ODIN says:

    Surely what this corrupt evil ConDem government is doing to the sick and disabled is against their Human rights, isn’t it? Or are they doing this just an inch within international law? Oh for a peaceful uprising of the oppressed British people against these Nazi public school tossers, like the people of the middle east did to overthrow their oppressors (the peaceful coups that is) I doubt if it would happen here though as Coronation street and Eastenders is on in the evenings. People get mad enough to care what happens to your neighbours and your country. Call for a vote of no confidence in this unelected bunch of assholes.

    We are the British people the government are employed by US we should be the ones to sack this money grabbing evil minded Nazi excuses for human Beings. we really don’t need to put up with this, they are killing our own people and they do not care, they would rather kill the innocent people of this country than blame the true creators of this recession, the banks and the super rich. But then they are the super rich aren’t they. Maybe my constituency MP will help me, Hmmm but then again my MP is Maria Miller strangely I can’t see that happening can you? I wonder if we will all be under investigation now for writing subversive material on this website, I feel like Robin Hood.

  13. roger Allnot says:

    You people are so out of touch. Have you seen the latest Social Attitudes survey? More than half the British population now believe that more people would stand on their own feet if benefits were less generous – compared with just over a quarter (26%) in 1991.

    1. Gary says:

      “More than half the British population now believe that more people would stand on their own feet if benefits were less generous”

      Can I trade my legs and arms for yours? How about you can take my Chronic, Incurable Neuro-degenerative Disorders, and I will attempt to cope with your limited intelligence quotient.

      How about going after the cheats, then the bankers, and finally after the liars that took our military to war on a credit card? The now-former President of Barclays Bank that admitted that he fiddled with the Libor, and walked out the doors with £9 MILLION as a ‘thank you’ gift.

      You have not a clue how the media and the present Government have created a monster that never ceases in demonising the vulnerable, and then they find another, and it grows until there is a Reichtag fire. This Government gave £540 MILLION so the Government could save £600 MILLION. Do the Maths, and you created Disablism for a £60 MILLION gain, and this time with more than junkies selling Big Issues.

      We didn’t want disability, and at any time you, too, could find yourself disabled.

  14. papasmurf says:

    roger Allnot
    You people are so out of touch. Have you seen the latest Social Attitudes survey? More than half the British population now believe that more people would stand on their own feet if benefits were less generous – compared with just over a quarter (26%) in 1991.

    It is not us being out of touch, it is 20 years worth of scrounger propaganda from government ministers briefing the gutter press that has brainwashed the population.

  15. Findlow says:

    Well, Marco Forato is “Chief Marketing Officer” so I guess his job is to, er, market, but really, this letter just beggars belief! I suppose it shows UNUM is rattled by what campaigners like Black Triangle have succeeded in doing though. Linda Nee makes some very interesting observations about treatment of UNUM’s own employees, which hardly square with Marco Forato’s apparent pride in the company…….

    ” Unum employees who contact us describe working in a hostile, malicious, over-powering, vindictive and extremely stressful workplace….”

    “Perhaps the most offensive and hurtful actions (and unlawful by the way) taken by Unum’s management is the tendency to discuss one employee’s performance problems with all other members in the peer group with the deliberate intent of discrediting the work performance to co-workers.

    This behavior is described by all who contact us, including a Unum Medical Director who describes a systematic undermining of his work by Unum’s Gestapo, Quality Compliance, demeaning his authority over physicians who reported to him.”

    “When Unum individual employees begin to think and act “outside of the box” management wants them gone with little or no monetary liability for worker’s comp or unemployment. In many ways, Unum exhibits many of the characteristics of a “cult”. If you look up the definition of a “cult” on the Internet, it’s pretty clear Unum’s actions come pretty close as equated to a corporate environment.

    Once employees figure out their job is to deny more and more claims and “puts together the agenda”, Unum’s management pounces like a wild boar and eliminates the traitor. Employees either do what Unum says, or they’re out and Unum removes all of their personal belongings to the curb in front of the Chattanooga building. There is no room for leadership, personal growth, promotion, and peace in the workplace. Employees must do as the company directs or suffer the consequences.”


  16. Lorraine Antwis says:

    I agree Papasmurf, Odin, Joanna, Eomunda, everyone except UNUM and the troll. Now listen, Roger, you NEED to wake up! Do you know that UNUM made press releases about disabled and sick people holding back businesses and the growth of the Economy in the year before they opened their U.K. branch? Can you guess which rags printed their intolerantly worded articles? Daily Fail for one. UNUM advised ATOS and DWP yes Iain Duncan Smith (War and weapons merchant) on policy for WCA or stripping needy peoples money by 20% (no justification as fraud less than 0.05%) Now there have been over 1,100 suicides by impoverised, despairing disabled people in England. Now it’s Scotland’s turn. I find you sick in the head and heart if you defend UNUM and attack the most vulnerable in our society. I believe in Karma.

  17. Lorraine Antwis says:

    Roger, who paid for the survey? I’ve read it and, pmsl, “we find the sampled population (3,300 )to agree with the government’s model”. How convenient!

  18. Friend says:

    I’m thinking of submitting ideas to this movement as I don’t think any government/current parties can be trusted anymore as they are all in league with these large corporations. Democracy needs to return to the people so that government sanctioned genocide of the sick and disabled by starvation, poverty and lack of a free NHS stops before it’s too late. These things have a habit of sneaking up on people before the true agenda is realised and people look back horrified and wonder – how could we have let that happen? I think the government hopes that no-one will notice. The sick and disabled aren’t really capable of rioting in the streets or making a big fuss, most are only able to concentrate on basic survival.


    The government also uses the press and untrue propaganda to demonise the sick and disabled to make it easier for the general public to turn a blind eye to what is really going on: http://fullfact.org/factchecks/incapacity_benefit_94_per_cent_can_work-2458

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