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If you are employed by SunTrust Bank, your disability insurance program may not be all that you were promised when you were hired. If you are employed by SunTrust Bank, your disability insurance program may not be all that you were promised when you were hired. In fact, you may find yourself bankrupt before SunTrust’s long-term disability insurance actually begins paying benefits.

Like many large corporations SunTrust offers a disability insurance plan to entice employees to come work for it. You can see what SunTrust says about its long-term disability plan for employees here.

However, what SunTrust doesn’t tell you on its website is that its short-term disability program, which provides the first 25 weeks of income protection, is among the worst in the nation. That’s because the short term disability program gives you only 5 business days after the start of a disability to notify its claims administrator, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, of a claim. The only excuse for missing the five day deadline is if you are legally incapacitated.

Here’s the exact language of SunTrust’s short term disability program:

The deadline for submitting a claim for STD benefits is 5 days from the first day of absence. Applications or claims received after 5 days from the first day of absence will be denied. If teammates are not able to meet the deadline because they are legally incapacitated, teammates or their legal representative must file the claim as soon as reasonably possible and attach proof of their legal incapacity.

Most short term disability programs allow at least 30 days (and many allow even more days) to initiate a claim. There are many reasons why an injured or sick SunTrust employee might not meet SunTrust’s harsh five day deadline, but still not be legally inactivated. SunTrust employees may want to consider purchasing additional disability insurance from an independent agent in order to make sure that their families don’t suffer financial loss due to SunTrust’s onerous filing deadline.

This is exactly what SunTrust recommends to it bank customers when it comes to protecting yourself with disability insurance!

The real damage may come when you are denied for short term disability because you filed after the 5-day deadline, but remain disabled and apply for long term disability after the 6 month waiting period is up. You may hear from both HR and Sedgwick, “sorry…you aren’t eligible for long term disability because your short term disability claim was denied.” (Don’t take that as the final answer, by the way – talk to us first.)

If you have questions bout your SunTrust long term disability or short term disability claim, contact us. We represent SunTrust employees nationwide in claims against the SunTrust long term and short term disability program.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized ERISA disability & life insurance attorney in Fairfax, VA.