Increase in Disability Claims Driven by Musculoskeletal Disorders
The study, by the Council for Disability Awareness, found that companies paid more than $8 billion in ongoing disability insurance payments to individuals during 2009, which included a record 627,000 individuals on long-term disability.
The 2010 Long-Term Disability Claims Review analyzed private and public long-term disability claims data and identified continuing and emerging disability trends among U.S. workers. Sixteen CDA member companies -- the top disability insurance companies representing more than 75 percent of the commercial disability insurance marketplace -- submitted proprietary claim data for inclusion in this year's study.
According to the report, the leading cause of disability continues to be musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, such as back pain and joint and muscle conditions. In addition, cardiovascular and circulatory problems registered increases for the first time in three years.
New claim applications submitted to the Social Security Disability Insurance program continued to surge in 2009. Researchers said more workers are applying for SSDI claim payments than at any time in history, with new applications totaling 2.8 million in 2009 -- an increase of 21 percent. At the same time, the approval rate for initial SSDI claims continued to decline, falling to 35 percent in 2009.
Barry Lundquist, president of the CDA, said the study illustrates that disabilities are more common than people think, and they are on the rise. Future concerns, he said, center on the possible impact and uncertainty of the economy, regulatory environment, and the residual impact of health care reform.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
September 20, 2010
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