Pleas for Financial EAP Help Skyrocketing

February 9, 2004 ( - In a sign that the slowly recovering economy has apparently still not eased financial burdens for many Americans, a new report found that financial help calls to workplace employee assistance programs (EAP) have skyrocketed.

According to EAP provider ComPsych Corporation, calls for everything from help with debt, refinancing, and failed investments, among other issues, were up 69% between 2002 and 2003.

“Unfortunately, employees are grappling with the reality of unchecked spending,” said Richard Chaifetz, chairman and CEO of ComPsych, in a statement. “Couples in particular are dealing with exploding debt as they try to maintain two-income lifestyles, even after one partner is laid off, or is working but underemployed.”

Also, in a survey, employees also reported a disturbing picture of their personal finances. Asked how they would describe their financial situation, employees said:

  • I am one major setback away from financial disaster – 27%
  • I am worse off than last year, with less savings/income and more debt than before – 22%
  • I am about the same as last year, with no change in savings/income or debt – 23%
  • I am better off than last year, with more savings/income and less debt than before – 22%
  • I am in the best financial shape ever, with bountiful reserves and very little debt. – 6%.

The survey was conducted from January 12 to 26, 2004 and covered employees of more than 700 ComPsych client companies nationwide.