Mystery of massive rise in those quitting workforce on disability - Independent.ie
Thoughtful article by McWilliams on disability figures.
OVER the past few years an extraordinary development has occurred in Ireland, which has gone broadly unnoticed. Tens of thousands of people have left the labour force due to disability. This has occurred despite the fact that the workforce, in general, has become younger and healthier on most measures and despite the fact that there have been significant positive steps towards reducing discrimination against disabled people in the workforce.The same phenomenon is noted in the UK.Yet, since 2006, there has been a 37.7pc increase in the number of people who have left the labour force citing a condition that substantially limits one or more basic physical activities.
This is not people who have been unfortunate enough to be born with a disability, but people who have developed a disabling condition. This means 55,000 people – bigger than Waterford, the country's fifth largest city. Between 2002 and 2006, the same figure only increased by 1pc which is less than 2,000 people.
So what has happened from 2006 to 2012 to cause 53,000 extra people to leave the labour force due to physical disability?
Meanwhile, the number of people leaving the labour force citing a psychological or emotional condition has risen even more dramatically – 88,000 people are now diagnosed with an emotional or psychological condition that is bad enough that they can't work. This is a 27,000 rise from the same figure in 2006.
Panorama: The Great Disability Scam (clip)
Similar in the US.
Clearly there has been a massive increase in the number of people taking advantage of government disability benefits in Western countries that mirror the rise in unemployment. It's time to more critically assess these cases. Naturally, someone will post how they injured themselves and now receive disability after years of gainful employment, but wish to work. Indeed. But there are many cases that are fake ("I injured my back! I can't work!") and a large proportion are so-called psychological/emotional. I don't think that we can afford this anymore, let's tackle this issue. I would rather fakes exposed than cuts to carers' allowances i.e. lets dump the "bad backs" and "emotionally distressed" etc. and maintain (even, raise?) the benefits in genuine cases.