Mind comments on the new incapacity benefit test
Posted Monday 19 November 2007
Leading mental health charity Mind today comments on the new incapacity benefit test that will be introduced next year.
Mind's Director of Policy Sophie Corlett said:
"We are worried that the new test raises the bar for claiming incapacity benefit too high and will force people with mental health problems back to work before they are ready."
"The vast majority of people who experience mental distress want to return to employment as soon as possible. Incapacity benefit gives them the opportunity to access counselling services, participate in voluntary work and be helped to successfully return to work at an appropriate pace. Mind is concerned that under the new arrangements, too many people will fall foul of the incapacity benefit test and will instead be coerced onto job seekers allowance which does not offer the same degree of specialist support."
"Unfortunately, many employers are still not very understanding about mental health problems. We fear that thousands of people with mental health problems will be under pressure to take up inappropriate work and risk becoming ill again. They will find themselves caught in a devastating cycle where they are turfed out of their new job and back onto benefits. This won't be good for the individual's health or for the economy."