Employee access to disability insurance plans

October 26, 2018

Short- and long-term disability insurance plans replace some of the pay workers lose when they cannot work because of an injury or illness that is not related to their job. From 2008 to 2018, there was a slight increase in employer-provided access to these insurance plans.

Percent of workers with access to short- and long-term disability insurance plans
Type of disability insurance Private industry State and local government

Short-term disability, 2008

39% 23%

Short-term disability, 2018

42 26

Long-term disability, 2008

32 35

Long-term disability, 2018

34 38

In 2018, 42 percent of private industry workers had access to short-term disability insurance plans and 34 percent to long-term plans. Twenty-six percent of state and local government workers had access to short-term coverage and 38 percent to long-term benefits.

When employers offer disability insurance, they pay the full cost of coverage for most workers. Private industry employers in 2018 paid the full cost for 85 percent of workers with short-term disability coverage and 94 percent of workers with long-term disability coverage. State and local government employers paid the full cost for 87 percent of workers with short-term disability coverage and 83 percent of workers with long-term disability coverage.

Percent of disability insurance plan participants whose employers paid the full cost of the insurance, March 2018
Type of disability insurance Private industry State and local government

Short-term disability

85% 87%

Long-term disability

94 83

These data are from the National Compensation Survey – Benefits program. For more information, see “Employee Benefits in the United States – March 2018” and our glossary of terms on employee benefits. Plans that are completely funded by workers are not considered an employer-provided benefit and are not included in these data.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employee access to disability insurance plans on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/employee-access-to-disability-insurance-plans.htm (visited July 19, 2019).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics