Never underestimate how quickly you can lose your medical clearance. I utilized my NATCA/Unum LTD insurance two different times during my career, one of which has continued into retirement. I never experienced any difficulty, excessive red tape or opposition to my filing and receiving benefits. They have paid on time, every time. I urge you to protect yourself and your family with this valuable NATCA benefit.
I had UNUM long term disability through NATCA for approximately 12 years before needing to use it. Following a chiropractic adjustment on my neck I had a stroke, losing the use of both arms and legs and the feeling in my left arm. I also lost the ability to make decisions quickly, while I recovered the use of my limbs needless to say also lost my medical. While I never thought I would need to use the insurance I'm glad I had it. Jessica made the process easy and helped me with my many questions. Like all insurances you never want to use them, but when you need it you're glad you have it. You never know what the future holds.
I enrolled for UNUM Disability a few years ago because it just made sense. You protect your life, your house, your car, why not protect your income, particularly working for an agency where one person has the singular authority to keep you from working for any medical reason if they feel like it? Well, I ended up running into that exact situation and have been medically disqualified for different reasons for going on 7 months now, and without UNUM Disability I would be borrowing money or selling things to pay my basic bills and mortgage. Everyone worked together to get me approved and get my benefits started on time. I highly recommend to every Controller that they invest in their future welfare and enroll in the UNUM Disability program, it literally saved my career and retirement.
I become aware of UNUM Disability Insurance very briefly at my first FAA facility, and never really gave this or any insurance plans a second thought, I was young and healthy and I had just secured the best job in the world. Then, after seeing so many controllers unexpectedly lose their medical and have families to support, knowing I was a single parent, I thought about looking into it. It was fairly inexpensive and the cost of the program definitely outweighed the possible outcome of not having any support from lost wages. Unexpectedly, I lost my ATC medical 3 years later and my entire career, this policy was a blessing, and provided relief for me as a single parent to provide myself and my daughter. Leslie and Jessica (who handled my claim) have been amazing. I highly recommend that all new controllers, especially ones with a family consider spending the small amount for the added security of this plan. It was truly a blessing.
Angela D Clark
I was told by many fellow controllers that I had to have NATCA Unum insurance. After a couple years, I listened and signed up even though I was less than 30 and in good health. I always thought that I would never have any medical issues that could put me out of work. That can't happen to me. Well, I was wrong, and I am very glad that I listened to NATCA and signed up for Unum. I lost my hearing in one ear and couldn't work. After only 3 months, NATCA Unum started paying me and even set it up as direct deposit. Because of this insurance, I have still been able to take care of my family without worry. If you do have not NATCA Unum insurance, you need to get it immediately!
After becoming medically disqualified from performing Air Traffic Control duties one of our friends at Unum advised me to apply for benefits under NATCA's Long Term Disability Insurance Plan. The folks at Unum were very friendly. They carefully guided me through the whole process and made it work. This is not what I expected from an insurance company. They were a tremendous help during a very difficult time in my career and I cannot thank them enough. Even after I retired from the F.A.A. Unum paid me benefits under the plan. NATCA's Long Term Disability Insurance Plan is a remarkable benefit that no controller should be without.
To All NATCA Members,
I wanted to write a brief note encouraging all members to enroll in the disability plan. Even though I'm only 37 years old I have already had occasion to use it. It works. Unum paid the claim. I urge you to take advantage of this benefit for NATCA members. You never know.
I had to have back surgery in June of 2015 and after the surgery I was put on disqualifying medications so I lost my medical. I am eligible to retire but I am not ready to yet so the disability insurance from UNUM has made it possible for me to have the choice of continuing to try and get my medical back in the future instead of taking my retirement 6 years earlier than I had planned.
January 2013 I received the news that I had colon cancer. After surgery to remove part of my colon, I spent 11 days in the hospital. I then had to endure 5 months of chemotherapy. The chemother-apy caused me to develop numbness in my hands and feet. I could not receive my ATC medical clear-ance because of my physical condition and the medication I was taking.
After 6 months, I had exhausted all of my annual and sick leave. Unum disability insurance was a great benefit for me and my family. We were able to continue to meet all of our financial obligations. The filing process was simple. The representatives assigned to my case were courteous and very helpful. I highly recommend Unum disability as a safety net because we never know when an accident or illness will strike us.
My concerns in the intensive care unit were not centered on a paycheck. I felt confident I would return to work in a couple of weeks.
When the physician informed me I would need 12-16 weeks for recovery, I still had no thoughts on a paycheck because I could be assigned to Admin Duties in the office.
Then the proverbial “boom” fell. The FAA Management team told me there would be no Admin Duties and sent me LWOP papers.
FAA Management told me that the flight surgeon indicated my physical was permanently Revoked for a minimum of 3 to 4 years.
Yes, I was now worried. I called NATCA for help. Thankfully, I was a participant in the Unum Disability Plan. NATCA and Unum worked together and advised me of what I could expect: “A PAYCHECK”.
There is no doubt that NATCA and Unum provided for me when the FAA had no concerns for an employee of 35 years of service.
My small investment with NATCA and Unum provided financial stability for my family.
We all need to join with NATCA and Unum to protect our families and ourselves.
I have been a Unum member for several years, mainly as a precaution against a worst case scenario event. I have always had the mindset that nothing will ever happen to me. I have always been healthy, active, and careful. While I was on annual leave enjoying one of my regular physical activities (cycling) I was struck from behind and run over by a 30 foot motorhome travelling at 50 mph. I was riding in a bike lane, wearing a highway orange backpack, had flashing LEDs on the rear of my bicycle, and I was wearing a helmet. I was doing everything expected to be as safe as possible. The driver of the motorhome was distracted by the use of his cell phone (sound familiar?).
I suffered 11 broken bones, broken ribs, broken back, and my pelvis was shattered including an open book fracture. I also had suffered significant soft tissue and vascular damage. I was airlifted to the best trauma center in the state where my life was saved as I underwent 3 surgeries to repair my body. I immediately lost my Class II as I was incapacitated. I couldn't walk or stand on my own for almost 4 months until I was cleared to begin physical therapy. I took my first steps on my own in a swimming pool with water up to my chest. All I wanted to do was get back to work, and get back to the job I loved doing, that was my motivation.
While I was in the hospital and during the time I started my physical therapy I didn't have to worry about losing my home or car. I also didn't have to worry about my wife and kids being fed or taken care of. Sure I received a lot of support from my family, friends, and coworkers, but Unum saved my paycheck. Without my Unum insurance my family and I would have suffered another hardship.
If you have life insurance, health insurance, home/auto insurance, my advice to you is to get your paycheck insured and sign up for Unum. You may never need Unum because you're healthy and safe like I was, but you'll need it because you can't control 'the other guy'!
To NATCA Members:
My name is Don Smith. I am the agent and administrator for this group disability policy now about to begin its 16th year. I have seen and heard from many more members than what is posted here how this coverage has saved homes, kept cars from being repossessed, and just paid every day bills.
Many members don't realize what a catastrophic disability can do to a family. Many members chose not to post testimonials and I respect that, however, I want to tell all of you the one statement I hear the most from our claimants. That is 'I don't know what I would have done without it.'