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Consumers Battle to Defend Their Income

Council for Disability Awareness launches educational campaign targeting working Americans

PORTLAND, Maine – In an effort to engage Americans about the critical importance of protecting their fundamental ability to earn an income, the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) and its member companies today announced the launch of the Defend Your Income movement. This educational program seeks to unite consumers, advisors, employers and insurers in the fight to protect the incomes of working Americans from the financial risks of serious illness or injury.

More than one in four of today’s entrants to America’s workforce will suffer an income-interrupting disability at some point during their working careers. But a recent CDA study shows that despite the potentially catastrophic financial impact, most Americans, and even their financial advisors, significantly underestimate their odds of becoming disabled. Worse yet, about two-thirds of the workforce is not covered by private long term disability insurance.

“Most people just want to avoid the subject,” said Barry Lundquist, president of CDA. “But that thinking has left the majority of Americans unprepared for a loss of income. That’s why we’re taking such a new and different approach, one the industry has not seen before, to educate people about what threatens their ability to earn an income – and how they can protect themselves.”

The hub of the Defend Your Income program is a highly engaging web experience. Set in a martial arts dojo, this site invites visitors to actively learn how to defend their income. They can “meet their attackers” and learn about the top threats to their income. They can even fight off those attackers in an interactive game. Through a series of quizzes, visitors can also earn their “black belt” in Income Defense. And they can calculate their own Earnable Income Quotient (EIQ) to see what’s at stake – their lifetime income-earning potential.

“We just want Americans to understand their income risks so they can prepare for the potential financial impact of disability, in the same way they protect their homes, their cars and family’s health from unexpected loss,” said John Roberts, president and CEO of Assurant Employee Benefits, and Chairman of CDA’s board. “This is about helping Americans protect their most valuable resource – their ability to earn an income. The campaign engages wage earners, employers and financial advisors in a completely new and different way.”

CDA is a nonprofit organization