Friday, January 22, 2010

Record rise in sickness benefit numbers

Media Release

Friday, January 22, 2010

Statistics released today by the Ministry of Social Development show that numbers on the sickness benefit have jumped by 8,000 or 16 percent in the past year. That is the largest yearly increase recorded since the sickness benefit became available in the 1930s.

Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell believes this is as much a reflection of the recession as an increasing incidence of sickness or accidents.

"Looking at the profile of people on the sickness benefit, compared to five years ago they are younger, fewer have worked in the past year and more have a psychological or psychiatric incapacity. Often depression and stress can relate to being unemployed."

"The government needs to take great care at this time not to let people who should be on an unemployment benefit migrate to one of the longer term benefits like sickness, invalid or domestic purposes benefits. As the economy recovers numbers on the unemployment benefit can be expected to fall. But people on other benefits have a much greater likelihood of becoming entrenched."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People on the UB for too long don't become sick in a medical sence, they become spiritually impoverished, or just plain rusted.