Mind Your PDQ
PDQ stands for “personal disability quotient.” Your PDQ estimates the likelihood that you will become disabled during your lifetime, based on a number of lifestyle and health factors.
Why Does PDQ Matter?
Many young doctors and dentists think that because they are young and healthy, they do not need disability insurance, but this can be a dangerous way of thinking. In the first place, many disabilities are caused by unforeseen accidents, not poor health. Additionally, the odds of becoming disabled are much higher than you might think. The Social Security Administration estimates that a 20-year old entering the workforce has a 1 in 4 chance of becoming disabled before retirement.
Still, each person is different. Your lifestyle, occupation, or medical history may place you above or below the average risk for disability. This is where your PDQ comes in. While your PDQ obviously will not be able to predict what will happen to you with 100% accuracy, it can help you have a better sense of your personal level of risk for disability.
How Do I Calculate My PDQ?
The Council for Disability Awareness has an online PDQ calculator that you can use to find out your PDQ. All you have to do is input some basic information about your age, height, medical conditions, and the kind of work you do and the PDQ calculator will tell you your chances of being disabled before you retire. The PDQ calculator will also tell you the chances of your disability lasting 3 months or longer, the chances of your disability lasting 5 years or longer, and the average length of a long term disability for someone like you.