Mental and behavioural disorder claimants up 29%
by Gill Montia
Story link: Mental and behavioural disorder claimants up 29%
New analysis by Legal & General shows that the number of people claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) because of mental and behavioural disorders has increased over 29% since 2010.
ESA is paid to people who cannot work because of ill-health or disability and in May 2011, 265,530 people were claiming the allowance because of mental and behavioural disorders, compared with 205,700 a year earlier.
The study, which is based on figures from the Department of Work and Pensions, also reveals that in 2011:
73,600, or over 27% of mental and behavioural disorder claimants, were aged between 35 and 44, an increase of over 29% compared to 2010.
61,230, or over 23% of mental and behavioural disorder claimants, were aged between 24 and 34, an increase of nearly 28% compared to 2010.
However, the largest percentage increase was in the +60 age group (+66.9%) with 4,640 such claimants in May 2011.
L&G suggests that its research highlights the importance of early notification and specialist support for employees with mental health problems.
The insurer’s managing director of group protection, Diane Buckley, says: “The fact that there are more than 260,000 individuals claiming sickness benefits for mental and behavioural disorders is concerning.”
She adds: “These figures show how important it is for employers to provide good quality support for people in the workplace.”