At least 51 million working Americans are facing a growing crisis: a lack of adequate disability insurance coverage. Today, the absence of emergency savings, rising medical costs, and an overall trend of fewer employers offering benefits to workers has created a critical blind spot for many Americans.
Recent data by the American Council of Life Insurers shows that 51.3 million households in the United States are without disability insurance other than the basic coverage available through Social Security. That means at least 51 million working Americans — as many people as the populations of Texas and Florida combined — are without adequate income protection.
Yet more than one in four of today’s 20-year-olds can expect to be out of work for at least a year because of a disabling condition before they reach age 67 (the normal retirement age), and nearly six percent of working Americans will experience a short-term disability (six months or less) due to illness, injury, or pregnancy on average every year.
Without income protection in place, many Americans are experiencing severe financial difficulty when they need to miss work due to illness, injury, or pregnancy.
RealityCheckup is a new campaign spearheaded by The Council for Disability Awareness (The CDA), 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 campaign website, RealityCheckup.org, was launched on April 5 and from April 16 – May 31, The CDA launches a six-week social media campaign timed to coincide with Disability Insurance Awareness Month, held annually in May. The campaign educates employees and employers about the need for income protection.
“The goal of this campaign is to help people understand that most of us will miss work at some point during our careers due to things like having a baby, hurting our backs, or becoming depressed. It’s critically important to know how we’ll continue to receive some form of a paycheck when this happens,” says Carol Harnett, President of The Council for Disability Awareness.
“Each person’s approach to saving for these times out of work will different, but we want everyone to understand that some form of insurance coverage such as disability insurance is a critical part of a responsible financial plan.”
The campaign media kit, which includes an up-to-date fact sheet of key stats about the state of disability insurance coverage in the U.S., can be downloaded here.