Friday, September 25, 2009

Disability News [UPDATED]

"Have you wondered how the recession has impacted disability claims? Or what illnesses cause most disability claims? Do you know how sharply Social Security Disability Insurance claims are increasing?"
Thus begins an email I received this week from the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA). They've recently concluded their latest annual survey of carriers, as well as the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. The report is chock full of interesting data, I'll mention just a few items that I found particularly intriguing:
■ Disability insurers who are members of the CDA paid out almost $8 billion in long term disability claims last year alone.
■ Turns out, recent economic woes don't seem to have had much effect on reported claims (that surprised me) [see update below].
■ The number of folks filing SSDI claims grew by over 2 million last year - that's up almost 6% from the previous year.
At first, I think those last two items seem contradictory, but it does make sense: many more people are covered by SSDI than by private insurance (and, of course, most folks with their own plans are also covered by Social Security).
If you don't have your own disability policy, I'd strongly recommend at least looking into purchasing this valuable coverage. It's one of the very few plans that pays you, not someone else.
UPDATE: Barry Lundquist, CDA's Interim President, sends along an interesting explication of why some folks may not be filing DI claims:
"One theory I’ve heard is that people who are experiencing health problems are NOT going out on claim for fear their jobs will not be there when they come back."
That's very credible, and (perhaps) a bit scary.
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