Everyone should have disability insurance. However, because of cost, availability, and lack of information, the majority of working-age Americans are not covered by disability insurance in the event they are unable to work because of an injury or illness. When employers step up and offer disability insurance to their employees, workers may feel more dedicated to their jobs and be less likely to seek out another employer who offers disability benefits.
According to one estimate, almost 70% of American workers do not have disability insurance to protect them in the event of a disabling illness or injury. Unfortunately, most people underestimate the importance of disability insurance. The likelihood of becoming temporarily or permanently disabled is much higher than people realize, and few American's have enough savings set aside to even get them through a short-term injury or illness.
According to the Council for Disability Awareness, one-quarter of 20-year-olds today will become disabled before they reach the age of retirement. In spite of this significant chance of disability, fewer than half of Americans have enough savings to replace one month of income. The average household has less than two weeks' worth of equivalent liquid savings.
Short-term disability can replace a portion of an employee's salary when they are unable to work because of an illness, injury, or pregnancy. This can be a lifeline for young workers or those with little savings, to provide for their families while they recover from an unexpected disability.
Some employees and employers alike believe that Social Security or other safety nets will take care of individuals who become injured and are unable to work. However, for most individuals, Social Security disability benefits are only enough to keep them just above the poverty line. These minimal payments may not provide for emergency car repairs, medical emergencies, or even prescription bills.
Many employees dedicate their best years to their employer. When an employer takes an interest in preserving the employee's health, well-being, and future, the employee may be more likely to reciprocate that feeling through dedication and hard-work. An employee without disability benefits may be more likely to leave for another company which does offer a full range of benefits. Providing disability benefits from the outset may reduce employee turnover.
A number of states now require disability insurance coverage, including California, New Jersey, and New York. Employers who provide disability insurance may be able to attract additional talent and keep great employees by offering a benefit before it becomes mandatory. Additionally, employers can usually insure workers at a lower cost that individual workers can find on the open market. This allows employees to be protected at a cost they may not be able to afford on their own.
Greg Paul has 18 years of experience fighting for his clients to make sure they get the disability benefits they deserve. We represent individuals and families who have been denied benefits by their insurance company or plan administrator. You have a limited time to appeal your disability denial, so do not delay. If you have been denied short-term or long-term disability benefits, contact our office for a free consultation.