Researchers: Peter A. Kemp, Patricia Thornton
Funder: International Social Security Association
Duration: January 2003 - January 2006
Like Britain, many economically advanced nations have experienced substantial, long-term growth in the number of people receiving incapacity benefits (disability benefit or disability insurance). The aim of this study was to examine and attempt to explain the trends in incapacity benefit in six countries – Denmark , Great Britain, Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA – over the past 20 years.
It was found that as well as the well-documented rise of incapacity amongst older male workers in manufacturing and mining areas of the country, new trends are also apparent. These include the rise of women claiming incapacity benefit due to their greater inclusion in the workforce in recent decades. There is also an increase in mental health problems leading to claims. Raised levels of incapacity claims seem to be linked to the high levels of stress and anxiety associated with the processes of ‘downsizing' and the increased work intensity that are characteristic of the post-industrial economy.
A complex and diverse pattern of factors emerges to show the pressures that have led to the upward trend in disability claims across the developed world.
Sick Societies? : Trends in disability benefits in post-industrial welfare states, 2006
Kemp, P. A., Sunden, A. and Bakker Tauritz, B., International Social Security Association.