June 2013 > Be a Wise Healthcare Consumer
Be a Wise Healthcare Consumer
It Won’t Happen to Me… Or Will It?
It's hard to imagine becoming disabled. But disability, and resulting income loss, happens with far more frequency than workers predict. And because they can be caused by a variety of illnesses and injuries, for example cancer, stroke, back and joint pain, accidents, sports injuries and chronic diseases, disabilities can happen to anyone—at any time. In fact, the statistics are startling:
- Three in 10 workers entering the work force today will become disabled for 3 months or more before retiring.1
- The average long-term disability absence lasts 2 ½ years.2
- One in 7 workers can expect to be disabled for five years or more before retirement.3
- Close to 7 million workers under 65 years old are currently receiving Social Security Disability benefits; almost half are under age 50.4
And when a worker’s income is lost because an illness or accident strikes, financial devastation can strike as well…loss of savings and retirement income, foreclosure, bankruptcy. So how can you avoid becoming another statistic? Start planning.
The Council for Disability Awareness, a non-profit group formed in 2005, is dedicated to helping American workers become aware of the growing instances of disability and its financial consequences. It provides a wide array of educational resources that you can access through its Web site at: www.disabilitycanhappen.org. Among them:
- Disability Awareness Quiz - Take it to see how much you really know about disability.
- Five Questions Every Worker Should Ask - A single-page primer that can give you a better understanding of how prepared you truly are for an unexpected illness or disability.
- Personal Disability Quotient (PDQ) - A free-of-charge, first-of-its-kind online calculator that lets you estimate your chances of a disability. It helps quantify your risk of becoming disabled—and helps you proactively manage that risk.
To learn more about the likelihood of disability and what you can do to increase your financial security, visit www.disabilitycanhappen.org. For details about the Long and Short Term Disability coverage available to employees as part of your UT Benefits, please visit the Office of Employee Benefits website.
1 Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet 2007
2 Commissioner's Individual Disability Table A
3 "Commissioners Disability Table, 1998" Health Insurance Association of America, the New York Times, February 2000
4 Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet 2007