“RealityCheckup.org” is part of a consumer outreach program to educate America’s workforce about the likelihood of missing work due to pregnancy, health issues, or injuries — and the potential financial hardship associated with being out of work as a result. An illness or injury that is not remotely life threatening can have serious and long-lasting financial consequences.
The campaign is spearheaded by The Council for Disability Awareness, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping working adults understand the importance of having alternate sources of income for times when they cannot work due to illness, injury, or pregnancy.
The numbers are alarming.
- More than one out of four people currently entering the workforce can expect to have a disabling condition that puts them out of work for at least 12 months before they reach normal retirement age.1
- At least 50 million working adults in the United States are without disability insurance other than the basic coverage available through Social Security.2
- More than half of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover three months of expenses in the event of income loss. Almost half of Americans couldn’t pay for an unexpected expense of just $400 without having to take out a loan or sell something.3
This means millions of people are at risk of financial hardship if they are out of work. The consequences are very real. A 2014 survey identified medical bills, lost job (for any reason), and illness or injury (involving self or family member, and with or without job loss) as the primary reasons for consumer bankruptcies, with over half of respondents citing one of these three reasons.4
What can be done?
The first goal of this campaign is to encourage people to take the time to consider the reality of missing work — and a paycheck — for any period of time, and to understand that it happens more than any of us would like to think. It isn’t something anyone likes to contemplate, but the risk is real.
The second goal is to help people identify the steps to insure themselves against this possibility. Each individual’s approach and solution will be different, but we want everyone to understand that some form of insurance coverage is a critical part of a responsible financial plan.
This campaign is supported by:
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America offers individual disability insurance, disability insurance for business owners, and supplemental individual disability insurance. It offers employer-provided short- and long-term disability insurance; worksite and voluntary insurance, including disability insurance; and absence management services, including unpaid and paid leave management.
Illinois Mutual offers disability income insurance (DI) for individuals and business expense DI for small business owners. Additionally, Illinois Mutual offers voluntary worksite products including: accident, critical illness, short term disability, and voluntary short term disability.
MetLife offers individual disability insurance (GSI). The company offers employer-provided short- and long-term disability insurance, and worksite and voluntary insurance, including disability insurance. MetLife offers absence management services, including unpaid and paid leave management; a Disability Health and Wellness Connection, Employee Assistance Program, and Life Insurance Disability Extensions.
The Standard offers individual disability insurance and guaranteed standard issue. It offers employer-provided short- and long-term disability insurance; worksite and voluntary insurance, including disability insurance; and absence management services, including paid and unpaid leave management.
- Social Security Administration, Disability and Death Probability Tables for Insured Workers Born in 1997, Table A.
- American Council of Life Insurers, unpublished data in Assessing Americans’ Financial and Retirement Security, 2017. ACLI found that 54.3 percent of non-retired households (about 51.3 million in total) did not report having disability insurance. Assuming there is at least one adult in each household, this means the number of “uncovered” adults is at least equal to the number of “uncovered” households.
- Federal Reserve, Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2016, page 26.
- Austin, Daniel A., Medical Debt as a Cause of Consumer Bankruptcy (2014). Maine Law Review, Volume 67, No. 1, pp. 1 – 23 (2014); Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 204-2014. Available at SSRN. See especially Table 1.
Ready for more information?
This campaign is spearheaded by The Council for Disability Awareness, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping working adults understand the importance of having alternate sources of income for times when they cannot work due to illness, injury, or pregnancy.
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