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Mind reacts to new Work Capability Assessment statistics

Thursday, 14 March 2024 Mind

Statistics released today by the DWP show that:

  • 69% of people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and dementia who have had their ability to work assessed by the UK government have been found in need of extra financial support.
  • For people who were found to have limited capability for work, 90% had a ‘mental and behavioural disorder'
  • Meanwhile, 55% of people with mental health problems have been told they are well enough to be looking for work.

Nil Guzelgun, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, says:

“Today’s work capability assessment data highlights the acute need for mental health support. People in the poorest fifth of the population in the UK are twice as likely to be at risk of developing mental health problems. To suggest that people should be facing even lower incomes would be counterproductive and more likely to increase mental health problems.

“We know people would love to work if they had access to the mental health support they need, but that support just isn’t there. There are over 1.9 million people currently on waiting lists for NHS mental health services. The NHS recorded in January the highest referral numbers to crisis care teams since January 2019.

“The suggestion that benefits for disabled people and people experiencing long-term health conditions should be reduced - as the cost-of-living crisis continues - is alarming. People need to be offered tailored support from experts if they are to return to work, not threats of losing what little money they currently have to live on.

“We are calling on politicians and commentators to think more carefully about the impact they are having on people facing exceptionally difficult circumstances. People need more support and action to address the barriers they are facing, rather than threats and suggestions they should be left without support.”

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