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The Disability Divide: Employer Study

How well do human resources (HR) professionals understand the “disability mindset” of the employees they support? Do the HR professionals, themselves, understand key aspects of the disability risk?

Download the report to find out!

Download the report

This third study in the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) Disability Divide research series set out to answer those questions. In August 2012, CDA surveyed 553 professionals with responsibilities ranging from purchasing benefits or making employee benefit purchase recommendations, to communicating benefit programs, to answering benefit questions and helping employees enroll in benefits programs. Participants were well versed in non-medical employee benefits and worked for companies of all sizes.

The Disability Divide: Employer Study examines the gap between what employees believe, and what HR professionals assume those employees believe about disability.

Key Findings

  • Most HR professionals (84 percent) believe the ability to earn an income is their employees’ most valuable financial resource, yet only 26% thought their employees were adequately prepared to withstand a disability
  • HR professionals believe their employees are financially vulnerable to a loss of income
  • Both HR professionals and their employees severely underestimate the odds of becoming disabled
  • HR professionals tend to have a good grasp of the typical causes of disabilities, but their employees do not

What’s in this report?

The Disability Divide: Employer Study compares HR professionals’ answers to employee responses about income-threatening illnesses and injuries, illustrating distinct divides surrounding key disability issues such as:

  • The odds of disability, and best ways to prepare
  • Common misconceptions — and the reality — about the causes of disabilities
  • Perceptions about the severity and length of disabilities
  • The typical employee’s preparation and ability to withstand an income loss
  • Where employees get advice about their disability risk and their disability insurance programs

Who can benefit from reading this report?

While this report makes valuable reading for anyone interested in disability and/or absence management, the following groups may find it of particular interest:

  • HR professionals looking to better educate their employees about income protection
  • Employee benefits brokers working with employers on benefit package design and communications
  • Employers looking to improve employee satisfaction and benefit plan participation

This report provides insights into the disability mindset of employees and HR professionals, and will help close perception gaps that are a barrier to understanding and appreciation of an employer’s benefits program.

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