A study by Unum reveals some reasons for long-term disability claims. For the 12th year, cancer is the top reason for LTD claims for Unum, followed closely by back disorders, according to 2012 claims data.
Cancer claims were nearly 16 percent of the company’s LTC claims, while back disorders made up 15.1 percent of claims. The leading reasons for Unum’s STD claims last year were maternity (18.9 percent of claims) and non-back injuries (10.5 percent).
Since this is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, now is a good opportunity to highlight the value of DI coverage, not only for the financial benefit it provides, but also for the support that employees receive as they recover and return to work, Unum notes. Recovery and return to work play a particularly significant role for cancer patients.
“Most people who have been diagnosed with cancer are very motivated to get back to work,” says Kristin Tugman, senior director of Health and Productivity at Unum. “It helps create a sense of normalcy and control at a time when people often feel understandably overwhelmed.”
Advances in cancer treatment have led to much higher rates of survival from diagnosis. The American Cancer Society estimates that the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. will grow to nearly 18 million by 2022. The Cancer Society also observes that the transition from cancer patient to cancer survivor is the next critical area of attention for families, care givers and employers.
“We work closely with employers whose employees are out on disability because of cancer,” Tugman adds. “When a cancer patient is ready to resume some work responsibilities, we can help the employer offer the necessary support and accommodations their employee needs to return to work in a productive and safe manner.”
Through research and education, Unum offers employers guidance on how they can support workers through cancer diagnosis and treatment, and help those employees return successfully to the workplace.
Other leading causes of LTD claims for Unum in 2012 were:
- Back disorders (excluding injury) (15.1%)
- Injuries (9.8%)
- Behavioral health issues (9.8%)
- Circulatory system disorders (9.0%)
- Joint disorders (8.3%)
Leading causes of STD claims were:
- Normal pregnancy (18.9%)
- Injuries (10.5%)
- Complications from pregnancy (8.4%)
- Digestive disorders (8%)
- Back disorders (7.1%)
- Cancer (6.8%)
By Ayo Mseka