Are Americans Prepared for Disability?

Disabilities are unpredictable, so people of all ages should be prepared. Even people who work jobs which are considered safe can face the risk of a disability. Two stories below illustrate how everything can change in the blink of an eye.

For accidents which occur at work, there will likely be Workers' Compensation payments to the injured person, but this doesn't mean there won't be financial struggles. And for injuries which do not occur at work, getting benefits may take considerable time and depending on the circumstances, may never materialize. This is why disability insurance is essential to ensure expenses will be covered. The good news is, this coverage is more affordable than most people assume.

Here are two cases you can use to illustrate to staff members the importance of disability insurance.


Age is Not Always a Factor in a Disabling Injury

After graduating high school, Jeff used his interest in mechanical work to get a job working as an elevator repairman. He did well at the job with his enthusiasm and skills, but his career was cut short after five years.

That's when an elevator fell on him, resulting in well over 500 pounds of pressure hitting his back quickly. Jeff did not feel pain instantly, but he lost feeling in both of his legs, and he knew something was terribly wrong.

Jeff's doctor estimated he would be confined to a wheelchair forever due to his spinal injury. While he was able to collect Workers' Compensation benefits, Jeff's disability negatively impacted his family. For example, he needed more personal care, so his mother left her job to help him.

Following three years of rehab, he was able to build enough strength to transfer himself from one spot to another. His advice to others is to think about disability insurance regardless of age. Jeff never envisioned himself needing it before age 30, but he found out the hard way disabilities can happen to even the healthiest young people.

Disabling Accidents Can Happen Anywhere

Unlike Jeff in the previous case, Irene's accident happened at home. This meant she was not able to collect Workers' Compensation benefits. She was 40 years old when she stepped off a porch onto slick pavement and fell. While trying to brace herself during the fall, she shattered her elbow so badly it required surgery.

Following her surgery, there were several complications. Eventually she developed osteonecrosis, which is death of bone tissue cells. Irene became confined to a wheelchair. She had no choice but to pay someone to assist her with basic tasks. The financial implications were devastating.

Although Irene was approved for Social Security Disability, the process took more than two years to complete. During this time, Irene nearly depleted her retirement savings. Unable to afford her rent, she relied on the support of her friends and family. Her advice to everyone is to purchase disability coverage immediately.

Clearly, disability is not limited to the elderly or infirm. A disabling accident can happen anywhere, and it cannot be anticipated. This is the key reason why your employees need to consider voluntary insurance which helps cover costs in the event an accident occurs which leaves them unable to work.

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