This research brief, “Income Protection: The Role of Disability Insurance in Financial Wellness,” is the second report of our Financial Wellness Series, based on the findings from Guardian’s 6th Annual Workplace Benefits Study.

The report examines common myths and misperceptions about disability insurance, including confusion caused by its name; the likelihood of being out of work for an extended period of time due to injury, illness or other condition; and the most common causes of disability leave.

Disability insurance ownership trends are addressed, as well as the short- and long-term impact of a possible extended leave of absence from work without pay.

The report concludes by correlating the use of disability benefits with higher job satisfaction and employee loyalty.

Research Highlights:

  • Nearly 40% of full-time workers, or 50 million Americanshave no disability insurance at all, and many more have inadequate income replacement coverage.1
  • 3 in 10 households have experienced at least one disability leave in the past 10 years, and 55% say it had a major/devastating financial impact on their household.
  • People with disability insurance were less likely to be negatively impacted (38% vs. 62% of those with no disability coverage).
  • Among those with no disability insurance, 8 in 10 say they have not yet fully recovered financially.


Download the research brief today

Guardian Edge is your resource for the latest insights on workplace trends
Get insights



Council for Disability Awareness: (, last updated March 2018


All stats, unless otherwise noted, are from the Guardian Workplace Benefits Study, 6th Annual – Financial Wellness Series, Part 2


2021-121788 20230630