Figures claim mental illness now main reason to claim incapacity benefit

According to new research, mental health problems have overtaken disorders such as back pain as the main reason for incapacity benefit claims.

Department for Work and Pensions data showed that the ratio of new claims for mental ill health compared to musculoskeletal disorders more than doubled between 1997and 2007.

There are 2.6m people of working age in the UK currently claiming incapacity benefit. Figures revealed that mental illness claims remained at around a quarter of a million while musculoskeletal disorders fell from 181,820 in 1997 to 84,420 in 2007.

According to researchers, social views of illness might explain the change.

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