A review of 2006 long-term disability claims among the U.S. workforce released May 1, by the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA), Portland, revealed that the number of American workers experiencing a long-term disability continues to grow at a rate faster than the growth of the workforce.
CDA’s 2006 Long-Term Disability Claims Review, an annual review of long-term disability claims among the U.S. working population, determines continuing and emerging trends in long-term disability claims, as these claims have a demonstrable impact on the health and financial livelihood of America’s workforce.
According to this year’s review, more than 500,000 individuals received long-term disability insurance payments from CDA member companies in 2006, resulting in claims payments in excess of $7.2 billion – a 7.5% increase in payments made in 2005. Coupled with these private payouts, the Social Security Disability Insurance program paid 6.8 million disabled workers a total of $79.9 billion in 2006 – an 8.7% increase over payments made in 2005 and 105% more than the $39 billion provided in payments to SSDI program beneficiaries 10 years ago.
“After reviewing both public and private claims data, it is clear that America’s workers must better equip themselves to handle the possibility of a long-term disability and the financial burdens that may accompany it,” explained Robert Taylor, executive director of CDA. “This is especially true considering the continuing shift in responsibility for personal financial risks away from social programs and employers to the individual.”