A report published by the National Business Group on Health has found that both Short Term Disability and Long Term Disability claims dropped by a substantial amount, a result which is being largely attributed to the recession. However, the costs associated with the Long Term Disability claims actually rose on a per person basis.
The report actually served to counter a belief that employees would seek to take disability in the face of the economic downturn, but employees delayed or avoided altogether taking leaves that might otherwise have occurred.
Another factor which may have influenced the data is reduction in the workforce which would lower the pool of potentially eligible claimants to file either Short Term Disability or Long Term Disability claims. With substantial reductions in force occurring during this time frame, less people would be available to file such claims.
In our practice, we did not notice any substantial change in the volume of claims, although that is not any indication that can be compared or contrasted with the data from this report.