U.S. long-term disability (LTD) insurers kept claims in check in 2011 in spite of pressure from a weak job market.
Analysts at the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA), Portland, Maine, have published LTD claim statistics in a summary of results from a survey of 17 large commercial LTD carriers.
The CDA analysts found that the number of new LTD claims approved by the participating insurers rose 3.3% between 2010 and 2011, to 155,000.
The total number of individuals collecting LTD benefits rose just 1%, to 662,000.
Traditionally, disability insurers have feared that high unemployment rates would lead to jumps in LTD claims, by increasing the number of workers who work long hours under stressful conditions, increasing the odds that workers might see LTD benefits as a form of unemployment insurance, and interfering with injured workers’ efforts to return to work.
Some publicly traded insurers have reported seeing increases in disability claims incidence since the economy slumped in 2008. Other employers say their claim rates have been flat.