PORTLAND, Maine, May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A review of 2006
long- term disability claims among the U.S. workforce released today by the
Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) 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
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 percent
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 percent increase over
payments made in 2005 and 105 percent 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."
Qualifying for disability benefits under the SSDI program continues to
be a challenge, as only 39 percent of the 2.1 million workers who applied
for SSDI in 2006 received approval for disability benefits. The CDA Claims
Survey reported that 33 percent of individuals receiving private long-term
disability insurance did not qualify for SSDI assistance and 95 percent of
claims were not job-related.
These findings are particularly noteworthy for female workers, as the
rate of disability is growing faster for them than for their male
counterparts, according to SSDI program data. During the past 10 years, the
number of women covered under SSDI has grown from 16 percent to 47 percent
of all covered workers, and the rate of disability for women workers has
grown more than 60 percent -- compared to only a 32 percent growth rate for
According to the review, the leading cause of long-term disability
insurance claims continues to be musculoskeletal/connective tissue
disorders -- accounting for almost one-quarter of all new claims. Cancer
and cardiovascular/circulatory problems remained the second and third most
common causes of new disability claims. Accidents and injuries, often
thought to be a major cause of claims, accounted for less that 8 percent of
new long-term disabilities last year.
"CDA and its members are working hard to initiate a public dialogue
that will increase disability awareness," Taylor explained. "By informing
American workers about causes of and trends in disability, we believe we
can help increase their chances for financial security in the event a
long-term disability strikes."
About the Council for Disability Awareness
The Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) is a non-profit group
dedicated to helping the American workforce become aware of the growing
likelihood of disability and its financial consequences. The CDA engages in
communications, research and educational activities that provide
information and helpful resources to wage earners, their families, the
media, employers and others who are concerned about disability and the
impact it can have on wage earners and their families. For more information
about the CDA, visit: http://www.disabilitycanhappen.org.
About the 2006 CDA Long-Term Disability Claims Review
CDA conducts an annual review of long-term disability claims among the
U.S. working population to determine continuing or emerging trends. The
2006 Long-Term Disability Claims Review includes 2006 long-term disability
insurance claims data supplied by CDA member companies and an analysis of
the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program 2006 Annual
SOURCE Council for Disability Awareness