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Without a net

More than one in four of today’s 20-year-olds will miss work because of illness or injury before they retire. But two-thirds of American workers do not have access to disability insurance at work. Missing work for three months because of injury or illness would create a financial hardship for 77 percent of workers, while half report it would cause a “great hardship.”i

Disability insurance provides affordable financial protection, and nine in 10 people say they want the coverage -- and they’d be willing to pay for it if their employer offered it. ii

Oh, baby

Maternity leave is consistently Unum's leading reason for short term disability claims, accounting for about 20 percent of claims in 2012. The Family Medical Leave Act requires employers to hold jobs for employees who miss work because of illness, injury or maternity leave, but the law doesn't require employers to pay workers during the absence. For many women in the workforce who do not have disability coverage, time at home with a new baby means time without a paycheck. Only about 10 percent of working women have paid maternity leave through their short term disability coverage, according to census data.

Much misunderstood

Many people believe Social Security Disability or workers’ compensation will provide them with income if they are hurt or ill and cannot work. But Social Security is only for the most seriously, long-term disabled, and workers' compensation only covers injuries that occur on the job. The average monthly benefit paid by Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is $1,130 a month.iii Nearly three times as many injuries that require medical attention happen off-the-job rather than at work,iv and approximately 90 percent of all disabilities are caused by illnesses rather than accidents.v

Disability won’t happen to me

Statistics show otherwise. In fact, more than 37 million Americans are classified as disabled, or about 12 percent of the population. And more than 50 percent of those disabled Americans are in their working years, from 18-64 years old.vi

Taking care of business

Owning a business is a dream come true for many people, but a small business is dependent on your ability to work. Disability insurance can help a small business owner gain peace of mind in case they become disabled, and Unum offers benefits solutions designed especially for smaller businesses.

Benefits can boost sense of financial security

Employers can play an important role in helping their employees feel more financially secure by offering important benefits like disability insurance and by communicating the value of these benefits as clearly as possible. A recent Unum survey showed employees who rated their organization as a good place to work also tended to rate their feelings about their own financial security higher.vii

Every autumn

If it's fall, it must be annual benefits enrollment time. This annual event presents an ideal time for workers to evaluate their compensation, savings and insurance. Where are the gaps in the financial safety net? Have coverage needs changed over the past year through marriage, divorce, birth of a child? How do you adjust coverage? How can your employer help?

A guide to coverage

Not all insurance policies are built the same, and not everyone needs the same kinds of coverage. What coverage is right for new graduates? Young families? Workers considering retirement? Give your readers tips for selecting disability and life insurance policies that serve them well now and in the future.

Navigating health care reform

Health care reform is already influencing the benefits decisions of thousands of companies and millions of Americans. That impact will grow as the law’s most significant provisions kick in. What are carriers doing to help employers and brokers prepare for the changes? How will it affect the overall benefits landscape?
i Consumer Federation of America and Unum, Disability Claimant Knowledge and Experience Study, September 2013
ii Consumer Federation of America and Unum, Employee Knowledge and Attitudes about Employer-Provided Disability Insurance (2012)
iii Social Security Administration, 2013 Red Book (2013); Social Security Administration, “Monthly Statistical Snapshot” (Feb. 2013; accessed Jun. 19, 2013). http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/
iv National Safety Council, Injury Facts (2012)
v Council for Disability Awareness, “Chances of Disability: Me, Disabled?” (2012; accessed Oct. 29, 2012), http://www.disabilitycanhappen.org/chances_disability/disability_stats.asp
vi U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2011
vii Unum, “2012 Employee Education and Enrollment Survey,”   January 2013, online survey of 1890 working adults conducted by Harris Interactive