Employer-sponsored disability insurance is helping beneficiaries keep their houses and their spouses, a study released Monday by the Consumer Federation of America showed.

Forty-nine percent of recipients said they would have missed a mortgage or rent check without it, while 77 percent were relieved the payments avoided additional stress with their spouses or significant others.

The report emphasized disability is a significant cause of unemployment among working-age Americans. According to the report, one out of five  adults will acquire a disability that prevents them from being in a job by the time they reach 65.

Last year, 650,000 people received more than $9 billion in employer-sponsored long-term disability benefits.

About one-third of privately employed adults have access to employer-provided long term disability insurance and 39 percent are eligible for private short-term disability benefits. Both long-term and short-term private disability insurance replace 60 percent of a worker’s normal pay check.

The study noted that employer-sponsored plans usually kick in quicker than the five-month wait from the start of condition-related joblessness for Social Security Disability Insurance payments.

The study said it is rare for low- and moderate-income adults to buy disability insurance on their own because the premiums are high.

More than 80 percent of the recipients thought so highly of disability coverage they said employers should automatically enroll new employees in it with an opt-out option.

For the study, 407 recipients of employer-sponsored disability benefits were interviewed across the nation in May. Unum, a vendor of disability plans to employers, sponsored the study along with the Consumer Federation.