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Principal Life has assembled resources to help you learn more about the common causes of disability and locate assistance.

Over 85% of disabling accidents and illnesses are not work related.

Common Causes of Disability

Everyone runs the risk of becoming disabled. The risk is greater than most people think – greater than the risk of premature death. Although most people associate disabilities with accidents, the majority are the result of illnesses such as cancer, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, psychiatric and other types of illnesses[1] . Disability claims have been increasing as the following statistics support.

Causes for Increases in Disability

  • Aging – In 2004, the Social Security Administration predicted a 37% increase in disability incidence due to the aging baby boomer work force over the next 10 years.[3] Baby boomers are turning 60 at the rate of approximately 8,000 people a day.[2]
  • Overtime – The risk of occupational injuries increases by 61% with overtime. Working at least 12 hours a day is linked to a 38% increased risk. A 60-hour week increases the chance of injury by 23%[3].
  • Obesity – With a tenfold increase over the past decade, obesity is the primary diagnosis in short-term disability (STD) claims. There has been a large increase in the conditions where obesity is either a risk factor or is strongly associated. According to the National Business Group on Health, a direct healthcare costs attributable to overweight and obese individuals are estimated to be $123 billion or 9% of total US healthcare costs.[3]
  • Health – A recent analysis of integrated medical and disability databases[4] showed significant relationships between medical episodes and disability cases with multiple medical conditions, i.e., lost productivity expenses and increased absenteeism costs.

    On average there are 3.4 medical episodes related to each disability case with treatment for different medical conditions. Plus, 60% of disability cases involve a minimum of 3 medical episodes.[4]

    10% of disability cases account for more than half the total medical and disability costs.[4]

    Lost productivity associated with an absence due to a disability averages $22,800 per claim compared to $13,600 in medical costs and $3,800 in disability payments.[4]

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Online Assistance

When working through the challenges faced during a disability both employers and employees can sometimes use a little extra assistance. Principal Life has assembled online and telephone resources to help with a variety of disability scenarios. Included are links to support sites, such as American with Disabilities Act (ADA), tax information, healthcare aid, career resources, training and job search. There are many other resources available. We also encourage you to work with your vocational consultant.

Employer Links

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Employee Links

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Prescription and Low-Cost Healthcare Resources

It is difficult to move forward with rehabilitation services if a person no longer has medical insurance and is not receiving the treatment and medication they require.  Below are some sites that may assist in finding medical treatment or prescriptions at a lower cost.

Disability Insurance: A Missing Piece in the Financial Security Puzzle.
“New Report Shows Benefits of Integrating Medical and Disability Data”,

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The Principal is not responsible for any content, advertising, product, or any other matter or issue, available through third party web sites whether linked to, or from, web sites of The Principal. Mention of a specific web site or service does not constitute an endorsement. The Principal is not responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused, or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of third party web sites not owned by The Principal.
EC 3857D - 12/2011
Content Last Updated: 09/25/2014

Disability Resources
Disability Resources

Prepare your disability security plan. See how easy it can be with this simple, five step Financial Security Plan from The Council for Disability Awareness.

Financial Security Plan

Help combat the increase in disability costs.

See how now.

Combat disability costs

Learn more about the need for disability protection.

Disability Statistics

Have a question? Call us at 1.800.986.3343

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