DISABILITY INSURANCE 

The chance of missing months or years of work because of an injury or illness may seem remote, especially if you’re young and healthy and you work at a desk.

 

But more than one in four 20-year-olds will experience a disability for 90 days or more before they reach 67, according to the Social Security Administration.

 

“You never think it’s going to be you,” says Carol Harnett, president of the Council for Disability Awareness, an insurance industry group.

More than one in four 20-year-olds will experience a disability for 90 days or more before they reach 67.

 

One reason people shrug off the risk is they think about worst-case scenarios, such as spinal cord injuries leading to quadriplegia or horrific accidents that result in amputation, Harnett says. But back injuries, cancer, heart attacks, diabetes and other illnesses lead to most disability claims.

 

“The questions people have to ask are, ‘What would you do if you couldn’t work? How far could you go without a paycheck?’ ” Harnett says.