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CDA 2011 Advisor Disability Awareness Study
The Disability Divide: Advisor Study

The gap between consumers' attitudes - and advisors' perceptions of those attitudes - about disabilities and their potential threat to their financial security.

Duration of Disability

Consumers think most disabilities will last a long time.
Advisors know that many disabled workers will return to work.

Nearly one out of three consumers expect that a disability would prevent someone from ever working again.

Based on the responses to this survey, consumers seem to have a rather catastrophic view of disability. In fact, more than two-thirds of consumers think that a disability would keep a person out of work for a year or more - and the largest segment within that group assumes most disabilities are permanent.

Perhaps because consumers overestimate the severity of disabilities they also underestimate the chance a disability may occur.

Advisors more accurately estimate that disabilities happen more frequently but may not be catastrophic or permanent.

Advisors are half as likely as consumers to believe that disabilities will last more than a year.

Group advisors (those who provide more workplace benefits), are even less likely to think disabilities will last very long. In fact, nearly one-third of all group advisors estimate that disabilities typically last between one and three months. That may be because many them are involved in short-term disability programs that result in shorter claims (e.g., maternity leaves) as well as because the average participant in a group plan tends to be younger and therefore may experience faster recovery times.
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