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Workers Underrate Risk Of Disability: Study

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American workers are largely unconcerned about the possibility of becoming disabled despite a recent rise in disabling injuries, a new study finds.

More than 80% of workers believe their chances of becoming disabled are far lower than actual statistics report, according to the the survey by the Council for Disability Awareness, Portland, Maine.

The number of disabled workers in America has increased by 35% since 2000, notes the council, citing Social Security Administration figures.

Nearly 60% of workers surveyed said they haven’t discussed how they would manage an income-limiting disability, the CDA found. Almost half haven’t thought at all about the need to plan for the financial impact of such an event.

Among workers who actually have planned financially for a disability, more than 80% are convinced they could cover living expenses if an injury or illness put them out of action.

The CDA also found 56% didn’t realize that their chances of becoming too ill or injured to work had risen over the past 5 years.

In addition, 90% miscalculated their own chances of becoming disabled.

Among workers with 401(k) or IRA retirement plans, 35% haven’t thought about or don’t know what would happen to their contributions if they were unable to earn an income for a period of time.