Group Income Protection Policy with UNUM and Reduction of notional ESA Benefit

I have unfortunately been off work due to mental health issues for over 10 years but I have been fortunate enough to been receiving a portion of my salary by my employer through a Group Income Policy that they held with UNUM at the time when I went off sick. They have always deducted a notional sum equivalent to the ESA benefit from what they pay me through my employer and they have continued to do this despite the changes in benefit rules meaning that I was moved from Incapacity benefit onto Contributory Based ESA which had a maximum claim period of 52 weeks which ended many years ago. I expected them to stop deducting the equivalent sum of approx £5,500 gross but they failed to do so and I have raised the issue unsuccessfully on many occasions over the years but they just ignore any correspondence that I send them which has usually been the same time that I have had to complete all their periodic review paperwork.
When I have felt well enough I have tried to get advice from various sources including CAB but despite eventually getting an appointment with someone with more expertise, Group Income Protection policies was not something that they had experience off.
I am again being requested to complete medical forms by UNUM so I am trying to get some advice as a change in personal financial circumstances means that I really need to challenge their position on deducting a large amount of my payments when I have been told by DWP that I am no longer entitled to the benefit.
I tried to get some advice from The Financial Ombusman Service but when I explained that it was a Group Insurance Policy they said that it would be my employer and not me who would be the policy holder so they couldn't help.
I believe that the insurer is in the wrong but they play on the fact that someone in my situation will probably not be well enough to go down the legal avenue so they just ignore me! 

Any advice from someone with experience or knowledge of this situation would be greatly appreciated.


  • I am also a beneficiary of a workplace UNUM income protection scheme.  I think your best bet may be to involve your employer's HR department and get them to write to UNUM accordingly.  Also, make sure you understand the details of your scheme and complete the annual UNUM form accordingly, for example UNUM always ask me for details of any other income which is outwith the scope of the scheme - I might be renting out a property or have shares, but that is none of their business and I make that clear on the form.
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