Editor’s note: The following is based on an Aetna White Paper, “Disability and the disabled mindset: The human costs and the opportunity,” published in August 2014.
In late 2010, a video of two ballet dancers was posted to YouTube. He has an amputated leg, and she has an amputated arm. They surely could be classed as disabled, but their performance was so beautiful that it moved audiences to tears and got over a half a million hits.
Being on disability can be straining physically, financially and psychologically. The “disabled” label often comes with:
- Decreased life expectancy
- Marginal income levels
- Poorer general health
- Learned helplessness
The average Social Security Disability Insurance produces roughly $1,132/month or $13,584/year (2013). This is equivalent to working full time for $6.53/hour. Even with supplemental private or employer-based disability, the incomes may fall close or below the poverty level.
Depression also is more common at lower income levels. This could add psychological problems to the mix.
According to the European Journal of Counseling Psychology, depression occurs because the changes and stresses associated with a physical disability rob the individual of the meaning in his/her life. Having meaning and purpose can offset the effects of disability. Work gives meaning to the lives of many people and, in most cases, a disability limits the ability to work.
The Manufacturer & Business Association’s (MBA) Aetna Short-Term Disability representatives, processes and technology are always available to support employers and employees with this benefit, higher productivity, return-to-work procedures and stay-at-work techniques. They are committed to promoting disability awareness, as well as providing solutions for all involved that can reduce the impact of disability.
If your company participates in the MBA’s Short-Term Disability programs underwritten by Aetna, contact us at 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 for more information.