Who Really Plans to be Disabled?

The Los Angeles Times features a story with information on planning for disability, almost always an unexpected event:

Sherry Sherman was on an empty two-lane highway in 2002 as she returned from a job interview. The last thing she remembers was leaning over to change a CD. Days later, she woke up in the hospital with a broken spine.

Sherman, then single and healthy, had never considered the possibility of being disabled. But nine weeks of hospitalization ate up her savings…

Roughly 3 in 10 workers will have an injury or illness at some point during their careers that keeps them out of work for three months or more, according to the Council for Disability Awareness. And 1 in 7 can expect to be disabled for five years or more.

“Disability among the American workforce is on the rise,” said Robert Taylor, president of the council, a nonprofit funded by disability insurers. “But the working population is not prepared and not preparing.”

How do you prepare? First, look at your own situation. Do you have a working spouse who could support both of you if one of you were to become disabled? How much sick pay are you entitled to? How much vacation time do you have coming?

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