When an employer-sponsored benefits package includes disability insurance, it's generally one of those items that most employees skim right over if and when they read through their packet.

Yet a survey of employees who have used their disability insurance, sponsored by the Consumer Federation of America and carrier Unum, underscores its importance when injury or illness triggers it. The survey of 407 employees who turned to disability insurance for financial help was conducted by Mathew Greenwald & Associates.

Because the researchers conducted live interviews to gain their data, the report includes anecdotal comments from respondents as well as the crunched data. The numbers showed that although disability insurance definitely kept the wolf from the door for those who needed it, it was temporary fix at best. That's because in most benefits plans, it is designed to make up for about 60 percent of an employee's income.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.