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What are the leading conditions behind disability claims?

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Many people who see themselves as young and/or healthy decide that they have no need for disability insurance, even if it is offered by their employer. However, the statistics simply show otherwise.

In particular, joint-related and musculoskeletal-related disorders have increased in recent years, according to insurance data provided by Unum Group. In the five years prior to 2015, joint-related disorders have been cited 13 percent more in short-term disability claims and 15 percent more in long-term disability claims.

According to the Unum data, the average short-term disability beneficiary was 44 years old, while the average long-term disability beneficiary was 51. While that may seem old to some of our readers, people of that age often have many more working years ahead of them.

Meanwhile, according to the insurance company, short-term disability claims related to musculoskeletal-related conditions have increased by 11 percent in that same period, while long-term ones have risen by nearly one-quarter. The Council for Disability Association has also reported that musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders are the most frequently cited conditions in new disability claims

Joint disorders ranked as the primary reason for short-term disability leave among baby boomers. The company postulates that the reason for the increase in these disorders among working people is the fact that people are remaining in the workforce later in life than they used to.

Of course, claims for both short-term and long-term disability involve other conditions as well. These include cancer, injuries, back disorders, digestive issues, mental disorders and cardiovascular and circulatory disorders.

While most people don't think of pregnancy as a reason that they will need short or long-term disability insurance, the leading reason for short-term disability leave for Generation X and Y was pregnancy. Pregnancy complications were the leading cause of long-term disability claims for Generation Y employees.

The fact is that none of us can foresee what is in store for us. Our lives can change in an instant with an accident, injury or diagnosis. Disability insurance can help ensure that a portion of our income will continue for our family and ourselves as we heal and recover. However, if you have difficulty obtaining the benefits to which you are entitled, it may be necessary to seek legal guidance to deal with the insurance company and prevent financial distress.

Source: InsuranceNewsNet, "Joint, Musculoskeletal Disorders Increase As DI Claims," Cyril Tuohy, May. 05, 2015

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