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CDA 2010 Consumer Disability Awareness Survey

The Disability Divide

The gap between what employees believe – and how they act – about the potential for an income – threatening disability

Protection Against Disability

More than half of the survey respondents equated disability with the inability to work for a living.

More than half said they’d only be able to pay their bills for a year or less if their income stopped.

  • 57%, or more than half, of the workers surveyed said that to be disabled would mean they would be unable to work.
  • 30% had the most negative view of disability as being “incapable of functioning.”
  • While only a few believed that a disability would mean the “end of life worth living,” almost all had a catastrophic view of disability.

For most, an income-limiting disability would most likely result in the rapid depletion of their resources. In fact, 65% said that they would only be able to pay bills for less than a year if their income stopped. And when asked where income would come from to pay bills, many responses seemed vague and dubious.

Other findings support how unprepared most Americans are to deal with an interruption in income.

  • Many U.S. families spend more than they earn.1
  • Only 40% of adult Americans have savings ear-marked for emergencies.2
  • 71% of American employees live from paycheck to paycheck,3 without enough savings to cushion the financial blow of a disability.

Charts and graphs

Research has shown that many individuals prefer to receive information graphically rather than from numbers or written text. The charts and graphs below were derived from various sources, including CDA studies. Please feel free to download and print the charts and graphs to support your needs, and help support our mission to raise awareness of the risk of disability through education and public awareness.

Infographic: The Disability Disconnect
Download our handy infographic highlighting the risk, causes and consequences of disability, and how wage earners’ perceptions differ from the reality.

Download PDF for electronic use
Download PDF for print – letter size
Download individual chart images 

1. Preparing for Disability – Protect Your Income

  • Americans not protecting income against disability (JPG | PDF)
  • Employees do not feel prepared financially (JPG | PDF)
  • How long can you pay bills if disabled? (JPG | PDF)
  • Income is most valuable in achieving long-term financial security
    (JPG | PDF)

2. Disability Divide: Worker Research Study

  • Disability can happen at anytime (JPG | PDF)
  • Percent who could pay the bills with no income (JPG | PDF)
  • Percent who believe disability typically lasts “X” amount of time (duration) (JPG | PDF)
  • What employees value (financial resources) (JPG | PDF)
  • Where would the money comes from to pay bills if disabled? (JPGPDF)

3. CDA Annual Long Term Disability Claims Review (2014)
This section last updated June 13, 2014

4. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Data
This section last updated June 13, 2014

  • Average monthly SSDI benefit by gender (View Chart)
  • Average monthly SSDI benefit by age (View Chart)
  • Percent of covered workers by age – 10 year comparison (View Chart)
  • Diagnostic causes of new SSDI awards (View Chart)
  • Number of SSDI applications, number approved (View Chart)
  • New SSDI awards as a percentage of applications (View Chart)
  • SSDI historical payment data (View Chart)
  • Fifteen year SSDI trends (View Chart)