Disability Statistics for 2012: Increased Coverage and Fewer Claims

The Council for Disability Awareness recently released its eighth annual Long Term Disability Claims Review, which has some interesting statistics.

There was good news on the coverage front. The trend of fewer employers offering LTD insurance, which began with the financial crisis in 2008, finally leveled off in 2012, and the number of employees covered by LTD insurance actually grew.

The number of people on claim dipped slightly, and the total amount of benefits paid leveled off. New claims also decreased, and the average age of claimants increased.

Social Security trends are similar. The Council found that while the number of people receiving Social Security disability benefits increased, new benefit applications and awards decreased slightly.

As one might expect, the primary cause of disabling illness was musculoskeletal conditions such as spinal injuries and arthritis. Second was nervous system conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. A close third was cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension and heart disease.

An improving economic climate has led to more employment. This, in turn, means more disability coverage for Americans. It remains to be seen but a larger population with disability coverage, may ultimately swing the pendulum back in the other direction.

Of course, disability coverage, even if it is increasing, isn’t worth much if your insurer doesn’t pay you benefits when you need them. We know that the rules governing disability claims can sometimes be complicated, and insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests. If you or someone you know is having difficulty with a disability insurer, contact us. We may be able to help.

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