In fact, a Unum news release said individuals filing a disability claim for breast, colon or prostate cancer are beating the disease in greater numbers and returning to their jobs.
Since 2001, Unum reported:
- A 96% increase in return to work for breast cancer claimants on short term disability and 14% increase for claimants on long term disability.
- A 65% increase in return to work for colon cancer claimants on short term disability and 24% increase for claimants on long term disability.
- A 72% increase in return to work for prostate cancer claimants on short term disability and 36% increase for claimants on long term disability.
Generally, the company said cancer continues to be the leading cause of long-term disability. Cancer was responsible for more than 12% of its long-term disability claims in 2006, with breast, colon and prostate cancer as the most prevalent types. For short term disability, pregnancy topped the list.
“For many, a cancer diagnosis no longer means permanent disability or death,” said Kenneth Mitchell, Ph.D., Unum vice president of health and productivity, in the release. “With the success of new screening and treatment protocols, various cancers are becoming more of a chronic disease to be managed. It’s about living beyond the disease.”
The causes of claims and the percentage received for each cause were as follows:
- 12.1% – Cancer
- 11.7% – Complications of pregnancy
- 10.1% – Joint/muscle/connective tissue diseases
- 8.2% – Back injuries
- 8% – Cardiovascular disease.
- 20% – Normal pregnancy
- 9% – Injuries (not including back)
- 7% – Digestive/intestinal diseases
- 7% – Reproductive/urinary system diseases
- 7% – Pregnancy (complications)
Unum received more than 400,000 new disability claims in 2006 and paid $4.2 billion in disability benefits to individuals and their families, the company said.