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Low Access to Employer Offered ERISA Disability Benefits

ERISA Blue Book.JPG

Fewer than half of American workers have access to ERISA disability plans through their jobs and white-collar workers are more likely than anyone else to be offered such plans, government data show.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed the employer-offered ERISA disability insurance marketplace extensively in 2015. Its findings were fascinating. For instance:

· One-quarter of American workers were both offered long- and short-term disability benefits.

· Managers and other professionals were most likely to be offered disability benefits: 42 percent were offered both short- and long-term, 12 percent had access only to short-term benefits programs and 17 percent had access only to long-term benefits programs.

· Service employees fared the worst: 76 percent of service workers had no access to any private disability benefits.

· Those who worked in natural resources, construction or maintenance jobs had the next-lowest access to disability benefits (55 percent with no access), followed by sales and office workers (53 percent) and those who worked in production, transportation and material moving trades (47 percent), the BLS found.

In the absence of employer-offered disability benefits, many disabled people turn to the government for help. Social Security benefit claims doubled since this new millennium started and federal officials have warned that, if current trends hold, the Social Security's disability trust fund will dry up in the next decade.

So it's even more intriguing to look at some figures buried deeply in the fine print of BLS' disability benefits analysis. It costs employers $0.30 per hour to offer their employees disability insurance, the study says. That's about 1 percent of total compensation; giving every private employee access to disability insurance through her job would cost the average employer about $624 per year, BLS says.

We've been able to help clients obtain their disability benefits, because we've studied trends like this very carefully. If you or a loved one are fighting for the disability benefits you've earned, we're here to help. Contact us today.

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