5 On Your Side

Raleigh Man At Odds With Late Father's Employer Over Life Insurance Benefits

Posted February 2, 2006

— Taking care of someone's estate when they die is never an easy thing. You are trying to pay bills, collect insurance and distribute assets -- all while grieving for your loved one.

One Raleigh man expected to wait a little for payment, but not six months.

Jon Klinger describes his father, Heinz Klinger, as being a "sweet, hard-working and quiet" man. Heinz Klinger died in July at the age of 95.

Before retiring, he worked for General Aniline and Film Corp., now known as GAF, for 37 years. As part of his employment, he had a $2,000 life insurance policy.

Jon Klinger has been trying to get that policy paid for the last six months. He first talked with GAF Benefits representatives in July.

"Then, they started what they called their investigation. They had to prove that he was an employee for 37 years. And find their paperwork because they said they didn't have anything on him," Klinger said.

That investigation took a couple of months. Once GAF agreed his dad was an employee, Klinger said he was told they needed to "process paperwork," which took two more months.

Finally, on Nov. 9, he said he was told it was in the final phase.

"We have all we need from you to process the paperwork, but we need someone from corporate headquarters to request the check. And that's the only response I can get from them since Nov. 9," Klinger said.

Klinger said he asked to speak with whomever had to request the check, but no one would give him that information. Frustrated, Klinger called Five on Your Side.

"Personally, I just think they're hoping that I'm gonna go away and stop bothering them," he said.

It was difficult for Five On Your Side to find out who to call, as well. After Five On Your Side's first call, GAF called Klinger and told him they were "expediting the check," and that he would get it in six to 10 weeks.

So, Five On Your Side went up the chain. This time, Klinger got a call saying the check would be sent right away. Klinger said he just wants what his father earned.

"He worked for it -- 37 hard years," Klinger said.

This time, Klinger's check really was "expedited."

Two days after Five On Your Side got to the right person at GAF, the company sent his check. The company would not tell Five On Your Side why the whole situation took so long.


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