May is Disability Awareness month, which gives you a natural opportunity to discuss income protection with your clients. Most people wouldn’t consider dropping their homeowners insurance or their car insurance. But what about protecting the ability to earn an income? Many Americans are not prepared to deal with the financial consequences of a disabling illness or injury. In fact, almost 50 percent of adults would have to borrow money or sell possessions to pay an unexpected $400 bill, according to the Federal Reserve Board.
Financial safety nets are full of holes for today’s employees. The average monthly benefit amount from Social Security Disability Insurance, which is paid through FICA payroll taxes, only replaces a portion of an employee’s earnings. And most disabilities are not work-related, so they’re not covered by Workers Compensation.
Disability is something that most people just don’t think about, but it’s a risk for people of all ages. More than one in four of today’s 20-year-olds can expect to be out of work for at least a year because of a disabling condition before age 67. Every year, nearly six percent of working Americans experience a short-term disability due to illness, injury, or pregnancy, according to the Council for Disability Awareness.
Disability can come from a range of causes, according to a 10-year review of Unum’s disability claims:
- Short and long term disability claims for joint disorders and musculoskeletal issues have increased significantly. The increase is especially prominent among Baby Boomers who make up over half of all long term disability claims.
- Cancer has stayed the number one reason for long term disability claims, representing 17 percent of claims.
- Pregnancy continues to top the list of short term disability claims at 28 percent while long term disability claims for complicated pregnancies have declined.
Also, higher obesity rates and stress can cause or aggravate health conditions, like heart disease and musculoskeletal issues.
Unum and CoPower have partnered to bring employers the benefits that their employees need to have peace-of-mind. Unum’s long term disability insurance can help employees pay their bills and protect their finances. Employees receive a percentage of their gross monthly earnings (up to the maximum allowed by their plan) if they become ill or injured and can’t work for an extended period.
To learn more, contact your LISI Regional Sales Manager.