NU Online News Service, Sept. 9, 2003, 5:52 p.m. EDT – U.S. residents who have long-term disability coverage from Fortis Benefits Insurance Company, Kansas City, Mo., filed 33% fewer LTD claims for depression, stress, panic, anxiety and similar conditions during the 18 months immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks than they filed during the 18 months preceding the attacks, the company says.

Fortis Benefits’ depression claim rate was down about as much in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and the District of Columbia as it was in the rest of the country.

The claims experience suggests that Americans responded with confidence and a strong sense of resolve after the attacks rather than experiencing the fear and depression that the terrorists wanted them to suffer, according to Dr. Polly Galbraith, Fortis Benefits’ medical director.

Both before and after the attacks, the ratio of claims by men and women remained the same, with about two-thirds of the claims being filed by women and one-third by men. The mix of ages of individuals who filed claims was also about the same, Fortis Benefits says.

Fortis Benefits is a unit of Fortis, Brussels.