The number of long-term disability claims continues to climb, according to the Council for Disability Awareness. As the baby boomers grow older, this number has seen parallel increases, and in 2011 the number rose even while the number of wage-earners protected by private disability income insurance declined for the third consecutive year.

"It is a serious concern that even as long term disability claims rise, fewer of America's wage earners have protected their incomes from the serious loss that could result if an illness or injury prevented them from working," said Lundquist. "Our research continues to demonstrate that workers dramatically underestimate their risk of disability, and too often don't think about protecting their most valuable financial resource – their income."

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