Disability Statistics

Disability can happen to anyone, it's more common than you think.
  • There are over 51 million Americans that are classified as disabled, representing 18 percent of the population.
    U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office, November 2008

  • A disabling injury occurs every 1 second in the U.S., and a fatal injury occuring every 4 minutes.
    National Safety Council, Injury Facts 2008 Ed.

  • Three in 10 workers entering the work force today will become disabled before retiring.
    Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet January 31, 2007

  • Over 6.8 million workers are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, almost half are under age 50.
    Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet January 31, 2007

  • While many people think that disabilities are typically caused by freak accidents, the majority of long-term absences are due to back injuries and illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease.
    Council for Disability Awareness, Long-Term Disability Claims Review, 2007

  • 498 Americans became disabled in the last 10 minutes .
    National Safety Council, Injury Facts 2008 Ed.

Disability often keeps people out of work:

  • An illness or accident will keep 1 in 5 workers out of work for at least a year before the age of 65.
    Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education, November 2005

  • One in 7 workers can expect to be disabled for five years or more before retirement.
    "Commissioners Disability Table, 1998," Health Insurance Association of America, the New York Times, February 2000

  • The average long-term disability absence lasts 2.5 years.
    Commissioner’s Individual Disability Table A

Disability can cause financial hardship:

  • 71% of American employees live from paycheck to paycheck.
    American Payroll Association, "Getting Paid in America" Survey, 2008

  • Unexpected illnesses and injuries cause 350,000 personal bankruptcies each year.
    "Illness and Injury as Contributors to Bankruptcy," Health Affairs, February 2, 2005

  • Disability causes nearly 50% of all mortgage foreclosures, 2% are caused by death.
    Health Affairs, The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere, 2 February 2005

  • Most American workers can't afford to become disabled:Over 70% of working Americans do not have enough savings to meet short-term emergencies.
    National Investment Watch Survey, A.G. Edwards Inc. 2004

  • According to the Federal Reserve, 44% of U.S. families spend more than they earn.
    Federal Reserve Board, Survey of Consumer Finances 2004

  • For the average American household, the savings rate is negative, the lowest since 1933, and credit card debt is at an all-time high - $9,300.
    Parade Magazine, Is the American Dream Still Possible?, April 23, 2006

  • Over 50% of the workforce has no private pension coverage and a third have no retirement savings.
    Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet 2007

Social Security and Workers' Compensation may not be adequate:

  • Close to 90% of disabling accidents and illnesses are not work related.
    National Safety Council, Injury Facts 2008 Ed.

  • The average monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit is $1,062.
    Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet 2009

  • Less than half - 39% - of the 2.1 million workers who applied for SSDI benefits in 2005 were approved.
    Social Security Administration, Office of Disability and Income Security Programs

Most American workers are not covered by disability insurance:

  • Over 100 million workers do not have private disability income insurance.
    Council for Disability Awareness, Long Term Disability Claims Review, 2005

  • 70% of the private sector workforce has no long-term disability insurance.
    Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet January 31, 2007

Disability is a real and growing risk and is widespread in the United States. Learn what you can do to reduce your chances of disability.