New Data Shows Continued Growth of Long-Term Disability Claims and Decline in Social Security Disability Insurance Applications Approval Rate

Council for Disability Awareness Releases its 2007 Claims Review from

Leading Insurance Companies and Social Security Administration Data

May 13, 2008, 01:00 ET from Council for Disability Awareness

    PORTLAND, Maine, May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Data from the annual
 Long-Term Disability Claims Review released today by the Council for
 Disability Awareness (CDA) reveals the continued growth of serious
 disabilities among the U.S. working population. Over the last ten years,
 the number of U.S. workers with long-term disabilities has grown four times
 the growth of workers in the U.S. workforce. The Review also found that a
 growing number of female and younger workers are experiencing serious
 disabilities that are impacting their ability to work. Most disabilities
 continue to be caused by off-the-job accidents and illnesses.
     The 2007 CDA Long-Term Disability Claims Review, the third annual
 review of long-term disability claim trends among the U.S. working
 population, includes primary data from the annual CDA member company
 long-term disability claims survey and analyzes selected worker disability
 data from the SSDI program.
     According to this year's review, more than 560,000 individuals received
 long-term disability insurance payments from CDA member companies in 2007,
 resulting in claim payments in excess of $7.7 billion - a 7 percent
 increase in payments made in 2006.
     The review also shows that in last year 7.1 million disabled workers
 received payments from the Social Security Disability Insurance program
 totaling $91.3 billion - a 4.3 percent increase over payments made in 2006
 and more than double the SSDI payments to disabled workers just 10 years
     The number of workers applying for SSDI disability payments increased
 to 2.2 million in 2007, 2.6% more that in 2006, while the number of
 disabled workers approved for payments declined to 37.6 percent, the lowest
 approval rate in the history of the program. Despite the increase in
 monthly SSDI payments, now averaging $1004 per worker, payments are less
 reliable and have not kept pace with the growing financial needs of
 disabled workers, putting the financial security of workers and their
 dependents at greater risk.
     "The CDA Claim Review shows that it is critical and urgent for American
 workers and their families to become aware of the growing instances of
 disability and to prepare for the financial consequences," explained Robert
 Taylor, president of CDA. "Our data also shows that accountability for
 personal financial security continues to shift away from trusted sources
 like social programs and employers to the individual."
     Working women and younger employees are more vulnerable to serious
 accidents and illnesses that can impact their ability to earn a living. The
 growth in the rate of serious disability for working women is twice the
 growth rate of working men and younger workers, in their 20s, 30s and 40s
 are experiencing serious disabilities.
     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 and existing
 claims. Cancer and cardiovascular/circulatory problems remained the second
 and third most common causes of new disability claims. Accidents and
 injuries remain the fastest growing causes of new as well as existing
     "It's important that Americans recognize the growing threat that
 disability can pose to their financial security," explains Taylor. "With
 this annual survey, CDA continues to expand the public dialogue that will
 raise the necessary awareness level on this critical issue."
     About the 2007 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
 2007 Long-Term Disability Claims Review includes 2007 long-term disability
 insurance claims data supplied by CDA member companies and an analysis of
 the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program 2007 Annual
 Statistical Supplement.
     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:

SOURCE Council for Disability Awareness