‘Huge rise’ in Incapacity Benefit claims for mental illness, Conservatives claim

The number of people in Britain claiming incapacity benefit because of mental illness has reached 1.1million, according to research by the Conservatives.

Figures obtained by the Tories suggest a huge rise in the numbers of people experiencing stress and depression, with almost 40% of the 2.7million people who now receive incapacity benefit unable to work because of mental illness.

According to the report the number of people claiming the benefit because of stress and stress-related illness has increased by 200% to nearly 50,000 in 10 years, and the rate of eating disorders in benefit claimants had gone up by 130% in the same period.

A Conservative health spokesman said the figures showed that more spending on early intervention would save money spent on benefits.