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Testimonials

I never imagined that I would be diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer and fighting for my life at 36 years old. My doctors told me it would be a long road ahead and take over a year to really battle this cancer. I was, understandably, worried about my health but I also worried about my finances especially because I was the sole source of income for my family. Luckily a coworker asked if I had Long Term Disability with UNUM and suddenly I remembered that I had signed up for it years back. When I first signed up I thought I would probably never use it because I’m young and in good health. I’m so happy and relieved that I did because it really helped us especially when I ran out of leave and was on LWOP. It was relatively easy to sign up and the staff and case worker are so friendly and so helpful. I’m now more than half way done with treatment and I’m so grateful that I have UNUM to help us get through it.

Nathalie Morales
N90


Some time ago now, just as I transferred to a new facility, NATCA was promoting UNUM and their long term disability insurance. I didn’t really think much about long term disability prior, as I was young and in great health. Frankly, I felt I didn’t need it at all. Thankfully, a senior controller in the room shared a story about a friend who got into a car accident and was in the hospital for a couple of months. His friend wasn’t able to work and did not have any other source of income or savings to help with his accumulating bills. He stated for a small monthly pay deduction you can have protection for yourself and your family. I said to myself, “what’s the harm,” it’s not that much and you never know what life has in store for you. So I decided to sign up with UNUM. A few years passed by before I was unfortunately diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer at the age of 45. UNUM has been a blessing. Their team was so helpful processing my claim. I’m currently receiving a monthly check and I only need to focus on my health. I do not have to worry about how I’m going to support myself and my family. I wish I could remember the name of that senior controller who recommended UNUM, so I can thank him personally. I highly recommend enrolling in this benefit and I hope you never have to use it. However, if life throws you a curveball you’ll be glad you have this protection. I know I’m grateful that I did.

David Diaz
HEF


I signed up for the NATCAIUnum disability at my first opportunity when I was hired 13 years ago. I felt it was good to have a safety net and this seems like a great opportunity. I have a rare food allergy, which was fine for the first 10 years of service, as I simply didn't eat on position. A few years ago my food allergy became airborne, the doctors still don't know why. I now could no longer be in the same room as the food I'm allergic to, then last year it got worse. I wasn't even in the same room when I had a reaction at work. Someone heated up their lunch when I was suppose to be a safe distance away. A full anaphylactic reaction not only put my life in danger, but is potentially dangerous to all the aircraft I'm working. It's been almost a year since I've been able to work. I'm working with doctors to try to figure out the puzzle of why I still can't catch my breath. I've been medically disqualified this whole time due to meds and other medical issues that are side effects of all the meds I'm on to keep me breathing. I had to sit down and figure out how I was going to do things like buy food and pay my mortgage. Because it was determined to be environmental I was approved for Worker's Comp through the DOL. That covered food and mortgage, but not the co-pays and medicine. The process to get things approved through Worker's Comp is hard, long and frustrating. The process to get help from Unum was so easy. I contacted Leslie and asked for help. Minutes after getting off the phone with her all the forms I needed were sitting in my inbox. She was there for questions, concerns and seemed to actually care about my health. Instead of me trying to figure out where all the paperwork goes, I just sent it her and she took care of it. The form was long and seemed overwhelming, but having someone to walk you through it made it so simple. I then got a call from my Unum adjuster. She was kind, quick and got my claim approved right away. I had the minimum required wait time (90 days) before I got my first check. What a huge relief to have the extra money coming in to cover the copays! All contact I've had with NATCA disability and with Unum has been kind and considerate. I don't know if! can go back to work, and I don't know what my future holds, but I know that for the next 5 years, I'm going to be okay because NATCA Disability and Unum are there for me.

Samantha Bassett
PWM


My name is Christopher Gray and I was a controller at ZKC. I signed up for Unum insurance in 2011 after having appendicitis while at work. I was 32 years old and honestly thought it was a little silly to be worried about long term disability at my age. I completely forgot that I even had the insurance. Then I lost my medical certification permanently in 2016. I was very worried about how I was going to get by and be able to care for my kids. It happened around the time of open enrollment so I just emailed Leslie, and she confirmed that I had the insurance. This took so much stress that I was feeling away. The whole process to file claims and work with my representative at Unum has been very easy and everyone I have had to interact with has been exceedingly nice and helpful.

I would encourage that anyone who thinks they may not need LTD insurance take a second look and realize that for as little as this insurance costs the benefit and security that it provides is remarkable. It is well worth it in my opinion.

Christopher Gray

Controller


I was working a fairly busy ground control session at night and suddenly realized I couldn't read the strips or focus with my left eye. The next day I got to an ophthalmologist who got really excited and immediately sent me to the ER and called in a neurologist. Wow, does the word "stroke" get your attention!!

After more tests and scans than I thought were possible, I realized how fortunate I was. The stroke was limited to one of my optic nerves. Not going to die, Yay!

Also, I never was going to get my medical back or work another day as a controller. (Apparently pirate eye patches erode public confidence or some such rot).

I was so fortunate that I had enrolled with UNUM disability the first year it was available to me. Having 5 kids and a mortgage, it seemed like a no brainer to protect my income for a couple of bucks per day. To say that I don't regret that decision for a moment is a massive understatement.

Thanks NATCA and UNUM for everything!

Jim Bond

BNA


As a local union representative I’ve always been keenly aware of the fragility of one’s class 2 medical certificate. I enrolled in the UNUM long term disability plan around 2012 and I’m extremely glad that I did. In December of 2017, two and a half years before my planned retirement, I was prescribed a long term medication that was extremely important to maintaining my health, unfortunately taking this medication resulted in my medical certificate being permanently revoked. Thankfully I was in a position where I could retire from the FAA, and to my surprise UNUM still provided me with 10% of my benefit, that may not sound like much, but it was exactly enough to make up the loss in my monthly income. Everyone at UNUM has been fantastic to work with, they even offer free career assistance, along with Social Security Disability assistance if needed.

I highly recommend participation in this great benefit!

Kenneth Lumetta

FNT


Unum disability insurance has allowed my family to survive even though I have been without a medical for nine months. It was as easy as a call and submitting a little paperwork to get the process of providing for my family, while the FAA wasn’t. I would recommend anyone who has dependent children to carry this insurance to ensure security in the case of medical need.

Jeff Allen
TPA


At first I was highly skeptical about signing up for a long term disability plan. I thought it would be a total waste of money since I had never had any health issues in the past. Having had the need to file a claim, I cannot tell you how glad I am I did. UNUM was very helpful and expedient in their claims process.

Michael DeGarmo
ZLA


To NATCA Members:

My name is Don Smith. I am the agent and administrator for this group disability policy now about to begin its 18th 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.