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Disabilities: Myths and Realities

Here are the top misperceptions employees have about disability, according to The Council for Disability Awareness: 

  • It’s not going to happen to me. A disabling accident occurs every two seconds in the United States, yet nine out of 10 workers dramatically underestimate their chances of becoming disabled. The odds are three in 10 that a worker entering the workforce today will become disabled some time before retiring.
  • If I do become disabled, it won’t last long. Eighty-five percent of workers surveyed express little or no concern that they may suffer a disability over three months long. While it’s true many disabilities last only a few months, the average disability actually lasts 2.5 years.
  • They cover disabilities at work. Most employers, particularly larger companies, provide some form of sick pay and long-term disability benefits to employees. That’s not necessarily the case among small employers. More employers offer voluntary disability insurance at the workplace, but some employees opt not to buy the coverage. Also, many employees mistakenly think their medical insurance covers lost wages, but it doesn’t.
  • I don’t need disability insurance because I have workers’ compensation. More than 90 percent of disabling accidents and illnesses are not work-related and not covered by workers’ compensation.