Understanding Common Myths and Facts about Disabilities

 In Disability and Long Term Care FAQ

There is a common myth that says disability insurance is not as important for women than men because they are less likely to become disabled. However, the truth is that the disability rate for women is growing faster than it is for men. In 2011, the percentage of female workers receiving SSDI benefits was over 55 percent more than the amount of people receiving them one decade earlier. The percentage of male workers who were receiving these benefits increased by only about 45 percent during that time frame. Researchers say that over 70 percent of households in the United States rely on two incomes, so it is imperative that both women and men obtain disability insurance if they have not already.

Another common myth is that people suffering from permanent disabilities can simply enroll in SSDI. At the time researchers conducted their survey, about 65 percent of SSDI applicants were initially denied following their applications for benefits. At the end of 2011, the average SSDI benefit payment was just over $1,000. For men, the average payment was a little over $1,200 monthly, and the average for women was just under $975 each month. For families who are faced with losing one income or the sole income, disability insurance can be the difference between not being able to pay for daily expenses and living comfortably. 

One myth says that a person’s chances of becoming disabled are about one in 100. However, the truth is that about 30 percent of working Americans will become disabled before retirement. Employees often think the odds are small, but the reality of such a harsh income interruption could be devastating to them and their families. Another common myth is that most disabilities are related to work or happen on the job. Researchers say that about 90 percent of disabilities stem from accidents or illnesses that are not work related. This also means these disabilities are not covered by workers’ compensation. People tend to think that most disabilities happen due to accidents, but illnesses are the leading cause of disabilities in America.

People usually believe that most disabilities happen due to one-time sudden events that are catastrophic. Chronic illnesses are the most common cause of disability. Researchers say that less than 10 percent of all disabilities are the result of sudden accidents. Back problems, muscle pain, joint pain and bone disorders account for the majority of disability causes. Many people think that they can use vacation time or sick time to cover their absences in the event of a temporary disability. However, researchers say that benefits usually run out within a few weeks and also run out when people need money the most. In most cases, a disability will last three months or longer. To learn more about the effects disabilities have on finances and how to be properly insured against major losses, discuss concerns with an agent.

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