Is disability insurance really necessary for most people, especially those who are young?

Most Americans have a greater chance of becoming disabled before retirement than of dying. Nearly 15% of the population aged 22-44 is disabled, and of those severely disabled, 54.2% are between the ages of 22-64.1 The employment rates and earning power are reduced substantially among these groups. Advances in modern medicine have resulted in declines in death rates, while chronic long term disability increased over the same period. 48% of all home foreclosures are the result of disability, while only 3% of all foreclosures are related to deaths.2

1 McNeil, J. M. “Americans with Disabilities: 1994-95.” U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration. P70-61 (August 1997): 2, 3. figure 2. Internet. June 13, 2000. Available:
2 Housing and Home Finance Agency, U.S. Government