Why Young People Need Disability Insurance
As a young and healthy person, it’s easy to think of wheelchairs, canes and handicap placards as an issue for older Americans. But that’s just not true. Aside from the risk of accidents and injuries, there are also a number of severe, debilitating and potentially career-ending diseases strike young people even in their 20s and 30s. Any of them may be sufficient to disrupt or destroy a promising medical career – just as it’s getting underway. Below are a few of these diseases that can cause young physicians to need disability:
Complications from pregnancy are among the most common sources of disability insurance claims for women, especially in their 20s and 30s. As women enter their 40s, while pregnancy is less common, the risk of disability arising for those women who do become pregnant rises.
According to information from Unum, a prominent disability insurance carrier, 28 percent of all short-term disability leave applications come as a result of pregnancy. This is especially significant when you consider that the entire 28 percent is concentrated among half the population – that is, females.
Pregnancy is the top reason for short-term disability leave among Generation Xers (18 percent of claims) and by far the top reason for short-term disability leave among Millennials (64 percent of all claims).
What’s more, it’s not just a short-term issue: Pregnancy and complications from pregnancy is the top reason for long-term disability claims for Millennials as well, accounting for some 20 percent of total long-term disability claims for those starting out their careers
According to the Council for Disability Awareness, some 70,000 people in their 20s and 30s are diagnosed with cancer of some sort every year. The most common cancers among younger individuals are lymphoma, leukemia, testicular cancer, melanoma and breast cancer. Even though they are generally treatable if caught early enough, cancer can result in long-term disability, and substantially disrupt the patient’s ability to earn a living while undergoing treatment and recovery.
We’re seeing increased incidence of these diseases among the working population. The percentage of claims against short-term disability insurance policies has increased 11 percent over the last five years, and the percentage of claims against long-term disability insurance policies is up 24 percent.
Examples of musculoskeletal disorders include carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, tendinitis, epicondylitis, and the like.
Nervous System Disorders
Nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis commonly strike young people beginning in their 20s and 30s. Ozzy Osbourne’s son was diagnosed with the disorder at age 26, for example. And Lou Gehrig’s Disease ended the famous baseball player’s career in its prime in his 30s, and also struck the famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking while he was in college in his 20s.
Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other mental illnesses also qualify for disability insurance benefits if they prevent you from working – and each of these are very commonly diagnosed in people beginning in their 20s. Currently mental illness accounts for roughly 10 percent of long-term disability claims, and affects about 26 percent of the adult population, again according to information from the Council for Disability Awareness.
Remember, none of these diseases are likely to qualify for benefits if your only insurance coverage is from workers compensation insurance. Fewer than 5 percent of all disabilities qualify for coverage under state workers compensation programs, according to the Council for Disability Awareness. And even then, income compensation is extremely limited and usually subject to a cap that is much lower than the average physician makes in a month.
If you are in good health today, anything can happen tomorrow. Now is the time to get your disability insurance and life insurance taken care of. Call us today at 866-899-7318 from anywhere in the country and get the process underway, or visit us at www.doctordisability.com for an online quote.