A disturbing trend that has developed across the country in recent years is that, while the number of workers/employees suffering from long-term illnesses or injuries has increased, the number of employers who provide long-term disability insurance has dropped dramatically. As of May 2014, the total number of Social Security disability beneficiaries in the United States hit an all-time high of about 11 million beneficiaries. However, fewer employees are covered with long term disability coverage. The number of U.S. workers with long-term disability coverage decreased 6% from 2009-2013. Below are just a few of the worrying statistics. From 2009-2013 nationwide:
- The number of employers offering long-term disability coverage decreased from 220,000 to 213,000;
- The number of employees who have long-term disability coverage decreased from 34 million to 32.1 million (6% decline); but,
- The number of employees in the U.S. workforce has increased by 6.6 million.
More and more employers are opting to drop their standard disability insurance plans for optional employee-paid plans. Additionally, more companies are implementing “defined benefit plans,” which allocate a certain amount of funds for each worker to use for all insurance coverage. This often has the effect of forcing workers to forgo some types of coverage, such as long-term disability insurance, because the funds provided are not sufficient to cover all types of insurance.
All of this leaves employees highly exposed to serious financial difficulties if they suffer a disability that renders them unable to work for six months or more. Indeed, studies have found that more than one in four 20-year-olds will become disabled at some point before they retire. As such, it is not only important for employees to obtain disability insurance, but also to ensure that any claims made for disability coverage under those policies are properly handled and paid by the insurer. If you suspect that your claim for disability coverage has been improperly denied, our attorneys can offer you a free and confidential consultation.
The information and statistics above come from Anderson, J. Craig. “Employers Dropping Long-Term Disability Insurance.” 17 July, 2014. Web. 5 Aug. 2014. The article can be found at http://www.pressherald.com/2014/07/17/employers-dropping-long-term-disability-coverage/