Mr W called us late on a Monday night. He'd been off work for over four months with Multiple Sclerosis.
Hi, I'm Joshua Elson, I work in our claims team in York. I wanted to work in this part of the business because this is where you can make a difference to people's lives at a time when they could be very ill or dealing with the loss of a loved one. I'm quite a resilient person, but there are those calls that just get you and this was one I'll remember for a while.
Mr W's critical illness payment had been delayed and his son’s birthday was coming up. Mr W just wanted to know when we were going to pay him the money. Mr W got full sick pay for three months. In the fourth month, it was reduced to statutory sick pay. Then his employer let him know they'd overpaid him. Now, his income wasn’t going to cover his bills.
We were waiting for his consultant's report so we could start assessing his claim. We often have delays of this kind. It isn't easy because consultants are doing an important job looking after patients. Filling in reports, even though we pay for them, isn't always top of their list.
But Mr W, understandably, just wanted to know when he could have his money. His worries were made worse because that coming Thursday was his son's birthday, and he couldn't afford to buy him a present.
I asked how old his son was. I thought if he's around 25 and Dad says he's a bit strapped for cash right now, then you can get your head around it. But Mr W's son was about to hit the grand old age of two.
There's no way I could leave this call knowing that a little man like that wouldn't have the best birthday. All kids deserve their special day – to open presents, have HUGE smiles and eat as much cake as possible.
We had verbal confirmation of Mr W's diagnosis from his consultant's PA. So, Joshua started processing his claim based on that rather than waiting for the paperwork.
Joshua also used the Simply Thank You website, which gives us the chance to do that little bit extra for customers.
I suggested we could help with presents so his son would have something to open on his birthday. It went a bit quiet on the phone. So I said, what does your son like?
On Simply Thank You we had building bricks and an animal shaped wagon. Mr W said his son loved animals. I ordered them and said they'd be with him in time – I think he was speechless.
Mr W's claim was successful. His family were entitled to over £14,000, which meant they could pay off their debts and put some money in bonds for the future.
Good morning Joshua, Just wanted to pop you a quick email from O to say thank you for his presents. He loves them. The animals are a winner. The animal truck is the only thing he wants to play with at the moment.
Thank you so much for helping to manage our claim. Although it wasn't a massive policy we took it out around the time O was born as we knew if we got ill we wouldn't be able to pay our debts if the worst was to happen.
The money we receive will help us to clear those debts and help me to make a decision about work and what we do moving forward. There may even be enough to take the kids on holiday as they deserve it.
Thank you again for doing what you do and keep doing it as it does make a difference. Kind regards, Mr W & family including Coco the dog.