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Disability Rates Continue Steady Climb, According to CDA's 2008 Disability Claims Review
Date:9/10/2009

PORTLAND, Maine, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2008 Long-Term Disability Claims Review conducted by the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) reveals a surge in the number of American wage earners requesting and receiving long-term disability payments.

The CDA's 4(th) Annual Long-Term Disability Claims Review analyzes private and public long-term disability claims data and identifies continuing and emerging disability trends among U.S. workers. Fifteen CDA member companies, representing more than 75 percent of the commercial disability insurance marketplace, submitted proprietary claim data for inclusion in this year's study.

The Claims Review found that CDA member companies made nearly $8 billion in ongoing disability insurance payments to disabled individuals in 2008. CDA member companies approved long-term disability insurance benefits for 156,000 new individuals.

In addition to these private payouts, applications for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program continued to surge in 2008. SSDI benefit applications increased 5.9 percent to 2.3 million in 2008 -- the highest ever. The program paid 7.4 million disabled workers a total of $91.3 billion in 2008 -- a 4.6 percent increase over payments made in 2007 and more than twice the $43.5 billion provided in payments to SSDI program beneficiaries 10 years ago.

The approval rate for SSDI claims fell to 38 percent in 2008, representing a continued steady decline from 1998's 52 percent approval rate. The CDA Claims Review found that 30 percent of individuals receiving private long-term disability insurance benefits did not qualify for SSDI assistance and 95 percent of claims were not job-related.

According to the Claims Review's qualitative data, member company representatives indicated that there were no significant effects on private disability claims re
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SOURCE Council for Disability Awareness
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