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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

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.

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)