Workers who suffered through disabling health problems with inadequate insurance tend to report being much less happy than comparable workers who had adequate disability coverage.

Researchers at a unit of MetLife Inc., New York (NYSE:MET), have reported that finding in a summary of results from a survey of 300 U.S. workers ages 25 to 55 who had experienced a disability that was not related to pregnancy or a workers’ compensation case and had lasted 6 months or longer. All of the survey participants have returned to work.

Only about 40% of the survey participants had disability insurance, and the participants who did have disability coverage had enough to cover an average of just one-third of their income, the researchers found.

When the researchers compared participants with inadequate disability coverage to participants with adequate coverage, they found that 90% of the participants with inadequate coverage said they felt the disability had had a major or devastating effect on their emotional lives, compared with 63% of the participants who had reasonably adequate disability coverage.

Similarly, 54% of the participants with inadequate coverage said their disability had a major or devastating impact on their relationships, compared with 37% of those who had reasonably adequate coverage.