Disability Claims Spike after New Year

December 17, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A new analysis of one million short-term disability claims by The Hartford Financial Services Group finds that claims dip in the eight weeks before the holiday and then spike around the new year.

A Hartford news release said the trends on the claims filed over five years showed in particular a spike in disability claims for depression in January.

The announcement said also respiratory illness claims likewise soar in January and peak in February. “Everyone knows wintertime is cold-and-flu season. But our research shows respiratory illnesses are not to be taken lightly,” said Glenn Shapiro, vice president of claims for The Hartford’s Group Benefits Division, in the news release. “They keep many workers off the job, making this a major concern for the financial health of businesses, too.”

Overall, accident-related disability claims peak in the summertime, but there is another secondary spike in January of accident-related claims for workers in the Northeast and Midwest, the news release said.

“Inclement weather is a key factor that makes these two regions disability danger zones during the winter,” Shapiro said. “Basic safety precautions can help prevent most of the accidents and injuries that can happen. We encourage residents in these two regions to exercise extreme caution while traveling during storms and use the appropriate protective gear for winter sports at all times, such as wearing a helmet when skiing.”