From the February 2011 issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

Disability Claims Slide

Amid the recession, the number of claims filed for both short-term and long-term disability declined in 2009, according to an annual survey by the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit that represents 300 large U.S. employers. But costs for long-term disability claims jumped.

There were 6.7 short-term disability claims per 100 insured employees in 2009, down from 8.1 in 2008, and just 3.4 long-term claims, down from 4.6 in 2008, according to the NBGH survey.

Short-term disability costs also declined, to $296 per worker in 2009 from $343 in 2008. But the costs for long-term claims rose to $13,226 per claim, up 25% from $10,507 in 2008.

The report suggests the recession may have encouraged employees to postpone taking time off from work, for example for elective surgery.

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