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New -- and old -- trends in disability claims

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A new report indicates that some things have changed with regard to disability claims in the last decade while certain things remained the same. The report comes from insurance provider Unum Group.

Among things that remained the same were the top reasons individuals claimed both long-term and short-term disability. The top reason for filing a long-term disability claim in the United States is cancer. The top reason for filing a short-term disability claim is pregnancy.

In the past decade, though, some other reasons for claiming disability have trended up. Specifically, more musculoskeletal and joint issues have been reported related to disability claims. The report indicates a rise of 33 percent in musculoskeletal disorder reports and an increase of 22 percent in joint issue reports.

A spokesperson for the insurance company says it sees two factors as driving these new trends. First, the workforce in the United States is aging, and baby boomers are staying at work longer than their historic counterparts. That is leading to an increase in age-related illnesses impacting disability claims.

A second reason for the trend is that many people in the United States are classified as overweight, says the Unum Group spokesperson. He said approximately a third of the adults in the country were classified as such, and that being overweight could lead to increased issues with joints or the musculoskeletal system.

Disability insurance doesn't usually pay out based on an underlying reason for the disability, however. While there are some limitations on certain policies, most pay out if medical limitations create a disability that meets policy parameters. If you feel like your disability claim has been wrongfully denied, consider speaking with a legal professional about the best way to proceed.

Source: Business Insurance, "Disability claims for joint, musculoskeletal issues on the rise," Joyce Famakinwa, May 05, 2016

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