Working women are experiencing serious disabilities at an increasing rate and much faster than working men. In fact, the rate of disability among working women in the United States has grown almost twice as fast as among working males during the past decade (more than 60 percent compared to 32 percent respectively) according to Social Security Administration data.
And although a recent survey conducted by the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) revealed the majority of working women are more aware than men of the threat that disability poses to them, women remain less likely to take the necessary steps to financially prepare themselves in the event a disability strikes.
According to the survey, nearly half of female workers expressed concern that they might suffer a disability of three months or longer. However, only 38 percent of those women surveyed indicated they had discussed how they would financially manage the onset of an income-limiting disability.
By failing to financially prepare for an income-limiting disability, working women risk serious financial repercussions down the road, especially as accountability for personal financial security continues to shift away from social programs and employers and toward the individual worker.
"Between higher medical bills and lost income, an accident or illness that causes a working woman to experience a long-term absence from work can substantially drain a family's savings," explains Bob Taylor, executive director of the CDA. "This situation underscores the critical need to inform working women about the steps they can take to protect their finances in case a disability occurs."
An executive summary of the "2007 Disability Awareness Survey" is available on the CDA Web site, www.disabilitycanhappen.org.