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An Open Letter from an Employee Who Bought Voluntary Disability

It is good to hear from actual clients from time to time about their experience with the products we help distribute. The note below I received from Dennis Forth. Dennis works with OneAmerica and an insured, Gary Sheehan gave him permission to share this open letter below. Gary purchased voluntary disability and it made a big difference in his life. I hope you find this as inspiring as I did!

A letter of gratitude

My name is Gary Sheehan and I am a policy holder at OneAmerica. I feel compelled to share my story with others who hold or manage these polices. I want others to know that this is an actual story, from a real individual, who was not paid to write this.

I am a 46 year old male who was injured in 2010 from an accident. I was smart enough to have purchased both short and long-term disability policies, as well as life insurance from OneAmerica through my employer, when I was employed by them. My first thought when I was considering purchasing these policies was that I was probably wasting my money since I would likely never get hurt. I was wrong and not only did I get hurt, but I was seriously injured and subsequently, had to undergo several surgeries. I have been out of work for several years due to the severity of this accident. I had been in the same blue collar occupation all of my life and had no other skills or training to fall back on. My savings became nonexistent due to the fall in the economy prior to my accident. Also, I didn’t have anyone to help me financially since I have recently relocated to North Carolina from Rhode Island and my family was not nearby to assist me.

My life would have been an absolute nightmare today had I not opted to elect the disability policies. I would have surely been homeless, penniless, and facing bankruptcy due to the medical costs alone. Fortunately, OneAmerica immediately began paying for my lost wages. My injuries consisted of a torn meniscus in my left knee, injury to my right elbow, injury to my right groin, as well as my back and neck. So far, I have undergone three surgeries, had several nerve blocks in my neck and an MRI which showed that a disk in my spine is pressing against my spinal cord which keeps me in constant pain. To make matters a bit more challenging, I am recovering from the disease of addiction and therefore pain medicine and pain management are not viable options for me. Kelly Shaw and Nancy Gilpatrick recognized and understood that I needed help. They worked together to make sure I was taken care of. I fell as though they treated me like they would have treated one of their own family members. Before long, the staff at OneAmerica, as well as myself, had realized that I could no longer perform the duties of my normal occupation. With no other trade, or skill, you had decided to retrain or re-school me for a more suitable career. Nancy Gilpatrick contacted me from the vocational department, and we decided together that an education for a new profession was inevitable. Nancy stayed with me every step of the way throughout this entire process. 46 years old and I was headed back to college, as if I was starting life all over again.

Scared and uncertain of my future, I headed off to Mitchell Community College in Statesville, NC, armed with ‘’fear of failure’’ in my pocket. Nancy knew I was capable of this endeavor long before I did. Her positive attitude and encouragement were priceless to me as I began this journey. I just finished my third semester and made the Dean’s List again for the third consecutive semester. I haven’t even told Nancy about this latest accomplishment, and I really do consider my achievements her accomplishments as well, there is no ’’I’’ in WE. Not only does RMS pay me every week without fail, they also cover my educational tuition and the cost of my books and supplies. This company, and its employees, has been nothing short of a miracle for me. They have been by my side from day one, without any excuses or clauses to hide behind. My gratitude is immeasurable at this point for all they have done for me thus far. I wanted someone to know, within OneAmerica, that a great company is only a reflection of its employees. Thank You, from the center of my heart, for all that you do to ensure my quality of life. The compassion and empathy that I receive from Nancy Gilpatrick, along with the employees at OneAmerica, is beyond heartfelt.


Gary N. Sheehan

Pretty powerful stuff! I hope you take the time to peruse the OneAmerica material they distribute for members in claim. I know they are not the biggest name but we have enjoyed working with them and clearly they do good work.



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