Disability facts that may surprise you

By MassMutual Staff

By MassMutual Staff

Posted on Nov 22, 2019

What are the odds that you will become too sick or injured to work? Or that if such misfortune happens, it will cause significant financial strain for you or your family? Unfortunately, many people don’t know. And it could cost them.

So here’s a rundown.

Disability quick facts

  • Just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they reach retirement age.1
  • 70 percent of American employees live from paycheck to paycheck, without enough savings to cushion the financial impact a disability may cause.2
  • The average monthly benefit paid by Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) at the start of 2019 was $1,234.3

Potential financial loss

Your income — when viewed over your entire career — is often your single, most important asset. A permanent disability, therefore, can have a significant impact on you and your family. The figures below demonstrate the potential financial loss of future earnings if you were to become permanently disabled.

For example, a 35-year-old worker with an annual salary of $50,000 who experiences a permanent disability may lose up to $1,500,000 in potential earnings by age 65.

How much could a disability cost you? You can use our calculator to find out.

Causes of disabilities

It is not uncommon for people to assume that most disabilities are the result of accidents. In reality, the majority of disabilities people suffer are due to various forms of illness.

Based exclusively on long-term disability (LTD) claims active during the 2017 calendar year. Source: Integrated Benefits Institute, Health and Productivity Benchmarking, 2017 Long Term Disability, September 11, 2018.

Conclusion

These statistics show that over the course of a person’s life, it is not uncommon for one to become disabled. What may come as a surprise to many is not only the causes of disabilities but the potential financial loss associated with a permanent disability. Disabilities can occur at any time.

Educating yourself is a good place to start to help you reduce your own personal financial risk of becoming disabled.

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Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet, 2019.

American Payroll Association, “Getting Paid in America” Survey,” 2018.

Social Security Administration, “The Facts about Social Security’s Disability Program,” January 2019.

The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual, its employees and representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to seek advice from your own tax or legal counsel. Opinions expressed by those interviewed are their own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.