PORTLAND, Maine – September 15, 2010 – The Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) is making it easier for financial planners, benefit advisors, employers and human resource professionals to help people learn about their risks of becoming disabled by offering a new, printed version of the popular Personal Disability Quotient (PDQ) calculator.
The newly released printable version, based on the CDA’s popular online PDQ calculator, spotlights one of the biggest risks to financial security: the chance that a serious illness or injury may prevent a wage earner from earning an income for an extended period of time. It is accessible to the public, free-of-charge, online at www.disabilitycanhappen.org or direct at www.disabilitycanhappen.org/chances_disability/pdq.asp.
In a soon-to-be-released CDA consumer research study, American wage earners view income as their most valuable financial resource, yet most dramatically underestimate the average risk of disability. In addition, the research found that most wage earners have not planned to avert the devastating financial consequences that an income-limiting disability can cause.
The disability discussion couldn’t be more important considering that the difficult economic times has left many people poorly equipped to handle any income loss, according to Barry Lundquist, president of the CDA.
“For nearly every wage earner, income is the source of all financial security; it’s why people work,” said Lundquist. “This is a basic financial education issue. Most wage earners are poorly informed about the risk of disability, which could cause them to lose their most important financial resource – income.”
Lundquist said the printed version of the PDQ calculator is simple to access, print and get into the hands of people so they can clearly see the impacts of disability. It allows employers, financial planners and human resource and employee benefit professionals to educate employees about the real risks of disability by having them calculate their own individual Personal Disability Quotient in just minutes.
The printed PDQ requires people to answer six questions regarding their age, gender, occupation, medical conditions, lifestyle and tobacco use to determine their estimated chance of becoming disabled and unable to work for three months or longer before the age of 65. The tool then estimates the time a person’s disability may last based on age.
The Council suggests the print version be used in a variety of ways. Employers can use it to educate their employees about the real risks of disability by having them fill it out and find their own individual Personal Disability Quotient. Financial advisors can use it to start a dialogue and raise their clients’ or prospects’ awareness of one of their largest unsecured risks – their ability to earn a living. Individuals can use it to get the facts about the risk of disability and take charge of their own financial security. And anyone can use it to learn about what behaviors and characteristics impact and possibly lower the risk of disability.
To download the printed version of the PDQ visit www.disabilitycanhappen.org. To access the online version, visit www.whatsmyPDQ.org.
About the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA)
The Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) is a nonprofit group dedicated to helping the American workforce become aware of the growing likelihood of disability and its financial consequences. The CDA engages in communications, research and educational activities that provide information and helpful resources to wage earners, their families, employers and others who are concerned about disability and the impact it can have on wage earners and their families.