Chriseta Gaskin and David Conner don’t know each other, but they both know what it’s like to suddenly be unable to work and earn a living because of an injury. And, thanks to disability coverage, they both had the time and resources to focus on getting well rather than worrying about paying the bills.
Gaskin and Conner have been featured in Unum’s WorkWell daily news site and in the company’s latest Corporate Responsibility Report, and their stories underscore the importance of long term disability benefits in maintaining financial security. Gaskin and Conner represent the more than 424,500 new disability claims filed with the company in 2017 and are among the Unum customers who received $3.8 billion in disability benefits made available by their employer.
Unum has long worked to advance the importance of financial protection benefits like disability insurance. A lengthy and unexpected absence from work can have serious financial consequences. According to a 2017 GoBankingRates study, one in four U.S. workers has less than $1,000 in savings, and more than half of households would struggle to recover from an unexpected $2,000 expense. These stories help raise awareness about this essential coverage.
Here’s a brief summary of their stories:
Chriseta Gaskin: Getting back to what matters most
Chriseta Gaskin, a 61-year-old personal banker, tried to ignore the pain in her knees for as long as she could, but it got to be too much. Chriseta decided to have knee replacement surgery and used her disability coverage to protect her from significant income loss during her recovery.
“I was aware of how much money I’d need to live while I wasn’t working,” Gaskin said. “My disability benefits check was direct deposited regularly, so I always had money to pay the bills. It was nice to not worry about expenses, because I did have anxiety about if I’d really even be able to work again.”
David Conner: Finding the courage to persevere
Department manager David Conner suffered a degloving injury when he was struck by a forklift. After nearly a dozen procedures left David bed-ridden, in chronic pain and depressed, he decided to amputate his left leg.
He had a lot to worry about, but his financial stability wasn’t one of them. “I owe everyone at Unum a lot of thanks,” Conner said. “There were so many things I didn’t know about my Unum coverage, and they took great care explaining everything to me. It was such a relief to know I’d have money coming in to pay my mortgage and take care of my family.”
For more information about how disability benefits impact the lives of working Americans, visit the customer stories section of unum.com.