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Women see physical and financial risk of disability

Published on June 28th, 2012

A new study shows that women, apparently more so than men, are quite concerned about the impact a disability would have on their lives, both physically and financially.

The study, conducted and released by the State Farm Center for Women and Financial Services at the American College, found that half of women surveyed believe that becoming disabled what have at least a “somewhat devastating” effect on their household.

It’s certainly a reality that more women are applying for Social Security disability insurance. The number of women applying for SSDI increased by a whopping 72 percent between 1999 and 2009. That’s disproportionate to the number of men who applied; that number increased by 42 percent in the same time period.

It’s true that women are more vulnerable to developing debilitating illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are more likely than men to have a disabling condition when they are working and during their senior years. Arthritis, in particular, is far more likely to affect women than men.

Clearly, women are aware of the risk, and it worries many of them, particularly those who are single. 28 percent of those surveyed say the impact of a disability would be “totally devastating.” In addition, married women are more likely than married men to worry that their spouse will become disabled and unable to work.

More women than men, too, think that their cash reserves would last less than a month in the event of a disability. That makes it all the more important for them to understand their options and the path they would need to take if they do develop a disability.

Source: Insurance News, “Women at risk when it comes to disability,” June 5, 2012

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