More than 51 million Americans are classified as disabled, which represents 18% of the population.(1) Research indicates that most people vastly underestimate their likelihood of becoming disabled before their working years end. Worse, the American Payroll Association estimates that 71% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.(2)
Of course statistics are just that: Statistics. But how many of us ever think we’ll become one of these statistics? Now there’s a new online tool that can help individuals calculate their chance of becoming disabled and take the necessary steps to manage that risk.
This first-of-its-kind calculator, developed by the non-profit Council for Disability Awareness (CDA), spotlights one of the largest risks to any wage earner’s financial security: The chance that a serious illness or injury might prevent you from earning an income for an extended period of time. It is available free-of-charge online at www.WhatsMyPDQ.org.
The calculator estimates future earnings potential and offers practical tips on how to prevent a disability or at least financially prepare for such an event. Educational resources feature a prevention component that emphasizes better health care, lifestyle and safety, as well as planning resources aimed at helping people budget for lost income, use benefits and secure their financial plans.
“During this economic crisis, more and more people are realizing that their ability to earn an income is their single most valuable asset,” said Bob Taylor, president of CDA. “They recognize how essential their income is to funding everything that’s important to them. But all too often, they seriously underestimate how likely their income may be threatened by a disability.”
1 U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office, November 2008
2 American Payroll Association, “Getting Paid in America” Survey, 2008