Long-Term Disability Claims on the Rise

The Long-Term Disability Claims Review by the CDA (Council for Disability Awareness) analyzes new claims made during the current year in addition to any ongoing or preexisting claims that were approved during prior years. In 2012, there were more than 660,000 disabled people who received long-term disability coverage from companies approved by the CDA. This was a decrease of about two percent from the figures in 2011. Between 2008 and 2011, the number of long-term disability claims consistently decreased.

Researchers found that the total claim payments actually grew somewhat. Long-term disability insurance payments from the CDA companies increased to $9.4 billion, and 2012 was the fifth year in a row of claims cost growth. The increase in 2012 reflected the largest amount of claims in the report’s history. Researchers also found that less than five percent of the CDA companies handling claims reported work-related claims in all years between 2008 and 2012.

The number of claimants who were eligible for SSDI dropped slightly. About 70 percent of the individuals who received long-term disability insurance from group plans approved by the CDA in 2012 were eligible for SSDI. In 2012, there were nearly 155,000 new claimants approved for disability insurance, which showed a decrease of almost three percent from 2011. Between 2010 and 2011, the number of new claims approved increased by more than three percent. During 2012, the new long-term claims that were approved resulted in about $1.4 billion in payments.

Of the new claims that were approved in 2012, more than 40 percent were for people who were under the age of 50. More than 55 percent of the payments went to people who were over the age of 50. For those who fell in this age group, the majority of claims filed were by people who were over the age of 60. Researchers said that with this age group’s claims increasing the total significantly, it shows that there is a working aging population. Meanwhile, they also said that the number of people filing claims in their 40s has been decreasing steadily.

Causes Of Long-Term Disability Claims
Researchers examined why people filed these claims. About 30 percent of the new claims in 2012 resulted from musculoskeletal issues or connective tissue disorders. These topped the list once again for being the most common causes of claims. The number of disability claims resulting from childbirth or pregnancy grew by nearly 25 percent in 2012, which was followed by a smaller increase in 2011. These issues accounted for more than 12 percent of the disability claims in 2012, which was up from less than 10 percent in 2011.

Another cause contributing to significant increases in 2012 was cancer. It was the second leading cause of claims that year as well as the fourth leading cause for ongoing claims. Between 2011 and 2012, claims related to mental disorders decreased, and the same was true for disorders of the sensory organs and nervous system. To learn more about claims and long-term disability insurance options, call ACBI at 203-259-7580 or visit our website.

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