8-21-13 1:30 PM EDT | Email Article

Joe Inger and Joel Canfield don’t know each other, but they both know what it’s like to be suddenly unable to work and earn a living because of injury or illness. And, thanks to disability coverage, they both have the time and resources to focus on getting well rather than worrying about paying the bills.

Inger and Canfield are featured in two new videos from Unum, and their stories underscore the importance of long term disability benefits in maintaining financial security and protecting retirement savings. Inger and Canfield represent the 650,000 disabled workers who received more than $9 billion in long term disability benefits through employer-sponsored disability coverage in 2012.1 Annually, more than 1.4 million workers receive short-term disability benefits made available by their employers.2

However, roughly 70 percent of Americans still don’t have access to disability insurance at the workplace.3 Yet Unum’s research with Consumer Federation of America shows that employees want this coverage and are willing to pay for it. When polled in 2012, 9 out of 10 workers said employers should make disability insurance available to them at work. And 86 percent indicated they would be willing to pay half of a $30-per-month insurance premium.4

Unum has long worked to advance the importance of financial protection benefits like disability insurance. These videos will help raise awareness among policymakers, employers and the public about this essential coverage.

Here’s a brief summary of their stories:

In 2009, Joe Inger was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects the nerves and muscles in his feet and lower legs. Every day with the neuromuscular disease brings about a new challenge, but Joe says his disability benefits give him the financial stability he needs to focus on his rehabilitation and walking again.

“If I did not have my disability benefits, I probably would have exhausted a large amount of my 401(k) savings,” Joe says in the video. “Knowing my disability payment is in my account allows me to focus on my life, getting better, still progressing forward, interacting with friends and keeping a positive attitude.”

To watch this video, click here.

Contractor Joel Canfield was injured when he fell off a ladder. After his accident, Joel says he thought he was ruined financially because he didn’t have a back-up plan or safety net.

“When I found out that Unum was able to help me out with my situation, the weight of the world was taken off my shoulders,” Joel explains in the video. “I was so relieved that it made the rehabilitation process so much easier.”

To watch this video, click here.

For more information about how disability benefits impact the lives of working Americans, visit the customer stories section of unum.com or watch this AHIP video featuring Unum customer Ray Topper.

About Unum

Unum is a leading provider of financial protection benefits through the workplace. The disability insurance leader in the U.S. for 36 years, Unum’s portfolio of financial protection products also includes life, accident and critical illness, which help protect millions of working people and their families in the event of an illness or injury. In 2012, Unum paid $5.5 billion in benefits to nearly 490,000 individuals and their families.

For more information visit us at www.unum.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

1 Council for Disability Awareness, 2013 Long-Term Disability Claims Review (2013).Represents over 75% of the commercial disability insurance marketplace.
2 Council for Disability Awareness, 2012 Long-Term Disability Claims Review, unpublished data. (2012).
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, “National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2012”
4 Consumer Federation of America and Unum, Employee Knowledge and Attitudes about Employer-Provided Disability Insurance (2012)

Unum
Brian Baker, 423-294-7839
bbaker4@unum.com

Copyright Business Wire 2013
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