Most Americans are Not Prepared for a Disability

Disability can happy slowly or instantly, but very few people are ever fully prepared to deal with a partial or complete impairment. Most people think it will not happen to them, but statistics show that most people are more at risk than they think.

Real-Life Examples
A man named Joshua had enjoyed mechanical work from a young age. As soon as he finished high school, he started working at an elevator repair business. With his existing skills, he quickly learned the trade and thrived in his job. After five years on the job, an elevator fell on him. This put 700 pounds of impact pressure on his back. Despite the lack of initial pain, he lost the feeling in his legs and knew that something terrible had happened.

When he arrived at the hospital, the doctors informed Joshua that he had suffered a spinal injury, which would confine him to a wheelchair forever. Joshua was able to collect workers’ compensation, but his sudden disability impacted his family in many ways. His mother left work to care for him, and this limited the family’s income. After three years of rehabilitation programs and individual determination, Joshua was able to gain enough strength to move around on his own.

Joshua stressed that people can never know what will happen to them from one day to the next. He also said that since he was under the age of 30 at the time of the accident, he had never even thought about disability insurance. His advice to all people, young and old, is to start thinking about it now.

Not all people can collect workers’ compensation when they become disabled. Monica, a woman nearing the age of 40 and working in the financial field, experienced a disability after stepping off a porch and falling on the wet ground. She tried to brace herself, but she wound up shattering her elbow badly enough that it required surgical repair. There were complications, and she developed osteonecrosis following her surgery. This is a condition of dying bone tissue, which resulted in Monica becoming wheelchair bound.

Monica had to hire someone to help her with dressing, bathing, eating, toileting and other basic tasks. She said that the financial effects of her disability were devastating. Although she was able to gain approval for Social Security Disability, it took well over two years to start receiving payments. Her retirement nest egg was depleted paying her basic living expenses during that time. She could not afford her rent and was unable to work. Monica kept her spirits high despite the pain and expressed her appreciation for the support received from friends, family and health care providers.

Since injuries are unpredictable, it is important to be prepared. People who are injured at work may be able to collect workers’ compensation, but Joshua’s story shows that those funds are not enough to cover all expenses. Monica’s devastating story shows that even savings cannot be enough to help a person survive until SSDI benefits are received. Not all people are able to live on workers’ compensation or SSDI anyway, so it is important to have adequate disability insurance to have the assurance of regular income in the event of an unfortunate accident. Disability insurance is more affordable than most people think. To learn more about this type of coverage, discuss concerns with an agent.


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