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How to Overcome Workplace Disability Issues

Understanding workplace disability issues 

Are you taking full advantage of ALL your workplace benefits? If you experienced workplace disability issues, would you be protected?

Hear the in’s and out’s of workplace disability issues:

Understanding workplace disability issues and insurance 

Dr. Kristin Tugman is the Vice President of Customer Analytics and Consultation at Prudential Financial. Her team helps employers and employees alike better understand and use disability benefits in the workplace, with the goal of minimizing employer’s costs and boosting employee engagement, satisfaction and performance. Dr. Tugman is committed to recognizing trends and leveraging research to maximize productivity and minimize absence in the workplace, and she has a special interest in the psychology of returning to work after disability leave.

On this episode of Queer Money®, Dr. Tugman joins us to discuss the benefits of having disability insurance and address the common misconception that it only applies to catastrophic events. She explains the challenges associated with returning to work after you’ve been out, describing what employers, managers and coworkers can do to help make the transition back to work easier. Listen in for Dr. Tugman’s advice on taking full advantage of the income protection and health benefits available through your employer and learn what YOU can do to prepare financially should any kind of illness or injury keep you from working.

Topics covered on workplace disability issues

The common medical reasons for disability

  • Usually NOT catastrophic event
  • Broken bones, minor surgery

Why so few take advantage of disability insurance

  • Lack of education on income protection
  • Don’t think about going without income

The growing concern with workplace disability issues

  • Working longer (over 50 = twice as likely to need)
  • 1 in 2 have a chronic condition, depression epidemic

How having workers out impacts employers

  • Lose 8-9% of payroll in disability productivity costs
  • The expense of replacing if don’t return to work

The confusion re: what it means to be out on disability

  • Most think only of catastrophic events
  • ANY illness or injury that prevents work

How the disability mindset impacts employees

  • Longer we’re away, less likely to return
  • Anxiety around return to the workplace

What employers need to know about disability

  • Initiate proactive strategies to stay connected
  • Make people feel safe in returning to work

Dr. Tugman’s research on the psychology of RTW

  • Important for coworkers to stay in contact
  • More support = more likely to return

What we can do to make the return to work easier

  • Help employees return incrementally
  • Let them know exactly what to expect
  • Discuss options for modified duty with a physician

Dr. Tugman’s advice on securing income protection

  • Get educated on existing benefits
  • Employ disability insurance, health plan
  • Ask for help from HR team

The seven causes of prolonged disability

  1. Don’t want to admit issue exists
  2. Inactivity
  3. Faulty thinking
  4. Fears around RTW
  5. Worry about getting sick again
  6. Anxiety around boundaries
  7. Concern about what to expect

What Prudential is doing to create healthier workplaces

  • Leverage data to promote RTW programs
  • Encourage policies that empower employees

Connect with Dr. Tugman

 Resources for disability insurance


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