Bana Jobe

Are Your Employees Prepared for a Disability?

Young people entering the workforce today may be thinking about more than just their careers, including starting a family and paying off student loans. What they’re much less likely to be thinking about is the fact that, by the time they retire, 1 in 4 will experience some form of disability that makes them unable to work for at least a year.

By raising awareness of the prevalence of disability and helping employees learn what they can do to mitigate their risk, you can help give them financial peace of mind.

What to know about disabilty

Here are some disability facts employees should know:

  • It’s not just about injuries. Most causes of long-term disability aren’t related to accidents. Rather, they’re typically due to chronic diseases, such as musculoskeletal disorders (29%) and cancer (15%); pregnancy (9.4%); and mental health conditions (9.1%).
  • Being underinsured is common. Despite how common disabilities are, many people aren’t prepared for them: More than 51 million American workers don’t have disability insurance.
  • Social Security benefits aren’t a fail-safe. Even though Social Security benefits offer some protection, claims can take up to five months to receive approval, if they receive it at all.
  • Disability depletes savings. As people wait for Social Security benefits that may never come, their savings don’t always last. More than half of Americans couldn’t cover three months of expenses if they were suddenly unable to work.

These disability statistics paint a concerning picture for America’s workforce — one that puts millions of employees at risk of financial stress and all the issues that can come with it, such as food instability, lack of housing, deteriorating mental health, and impacts to physical wellness.

In a time when many face increasing economic and medical worries, these problems are all the more concerning.

The Potential Solution That Many Employees Overlook

With premiums less than the cost of traditional health insurance and fast claims, disability insurance offers employees financial protection — as well as peace of mind — when they can’t work due to disability.

The reason more people don’t buy disability insurance can be attributed to a lack of awareness and an overconfidence in Social Security benefits. Many people, particularly younger workers, may not know how valuable disability policies can be.

That’s where you, the employer, can help.

Raising Awareness About How Disability Insurance Helps

Encourage employees to give disability insurance close consideration. Through email blasts, break room posters, benefits seminars, and other targeted communications, you can help your workforce understand the importance of disability insurance.

Start with this message: Not only can disability insurance partially replace income when life’s unexpected twists put employees out of work, but it can also help pay for related nonmedical expenses that health insurance may not.

Now more than ever, disability insurance is important for bridging those gaps in employees’ financial security. They just need you to make them aware of their options.

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