Joe Inger and Joel Canfield don’t know each other, but they both know what it’s like to be suddenly unable to work and earn a living because of injury or illness. And, thanks to disability coverage, they both have the time and resources to focus on getting well rather than worrying about paying the bills. Inger and Canfield are featured in two new videos from Unum, and their stories underscore the importance of long term disability benefits in maintaining financial security and protecting retirement savings. Inger and Canfield represent the 650,000 disabled workers who received more than $9 billion in long term disability benefits through employer-sponsored disability coverage in 2012. 1 Annually, more than 1.4 million workers receive short-term disability benefits made available by their employers. 2 However, roughly 70 percent of Americans still don’t have access to disability insurance at the workplace. 3 Yet Unum’s research with Consumer Federation of America shows that employees want this coverage and are willing to pay for it. When polled in 2012, 9 out of 10 workers said employers should make disability insurance available to them at work. And 86 percent indicated they would be willing to pay half of a $30-per-month insurance premium. 4 Unum has long worked to advance the importance of financial protection benefits like disability insurance. These videos will help raise awareness among policymakers, employers and the public about this essential coverage. Here’s a brief summary of their stories:
In 2009, Joe Inger was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects the nerves and muscles in his feet and lower legs. Every day with the neuromuscular disease brings about a new challenge, but Joe says his disability benefits give him the financial stability he needs to focus on his rehabilitation and walking again.