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Two-thirds of Americans lack disability insurance

Although most employees are of the opinion that missing work for three months or more due to sickness or injury would cause financial hardship

May 03, 2012 3:23 IST | India Infoline News Service

According to a survey, two-thirds of Americans who work in the private sector lack disability insurance. Although most employees are of the opinion that missing work for three months or more due to sickness or injury would cause financial hardship.

The survey was conducted by Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a non-profit organisation to advance consumer interests through research and education, and Tennessee-based insurance company Unum. Phone calls were made to almost 1,200 adult employees in late March and early April to seek their responses. Disability insurance pays for lost income caused by injury or illness suffered away from work.

Stephen Brobeck, executive director, CFA, said that consumers would be well served if all employers offered workers the chance to buy disability insurance, as a way to provide a financial safety net for working Americans. Disability insurance complements and supplements other programs, like workers’ compensation and social security disability insurance, which are insufficient by themselves.

He added that, workers’ compensation coverage is important but it is available only for workers who become ill or injured on the job—and most illnesses or injuries causing work loss occur outside the workplace. And social security disability benefits are typically minimal.

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