Action 9 helps retired CMS employee get more than $14,000 for short-term disability

CHARLOTTE — A retired guidance counselor said she worked for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for almost 16 years when she started having health issues and needed to take time off.

She wasn’t worried about losing income because she had short-term disability, but the woman contacted Channel 9 after she spent about two years trying to get paid.

Judith Osho said she was dealing with some serious health issues a few years ago and stopped working.

She said the school district paid part of her salary and that short-term disability was supposed to pay the rest ($14,400) but it didn’t.

“Fortunately, for me, I am married and my husband had to just step in and pay more,” she told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

She contacted the insurance company, Trustmark, but she said she “kept getting a lot of roadblocks.”

Osho said she had to gather and send the company dozens of documents to support her claim and they went “back-and-forth for about two years.”

She even talked to a lawyer and the North Carolina Department of Insurance, but still couldn’t get her money.

Stoogenke emailed Trustmark and a few weeks later the company emailed him this response:

“Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. As mentioned (the week before), we escalated this to our customer service team, and they were able to connect with the insured directly. They apologized as this is not the standard of service Trustmark is known for and the claim was resolved to her satisfaction.”

“The only thing I (knew) to try after watching you on TV was to see if you could look into it and maybe get this resolved,” she told Stoogenke. “I was like 100% sure if I had never reached out and got you involved, I wouldn’t have gotten my benefit.”

Stoogenke says if you have problems receiving short-term disability:

- Keep good records.

- Be patient, but not too patient. Osho said she should have reached out to Action 9 sooner.

- File a complaint with the state Department of Insurance.

- If it all else fails, you may want to hire a disability lawyer, which may sound pricey, but many offer free consultations and only charge if you win.

(Watch below: Action 9 helps homeowner get $3,700 from home warranty company)