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Mental health leading cause of income protection claims

Clive Bridge
health

Wesleyan releases latest claims data ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 May). Depression and anxiety are the most common causes of long-term absence.

Mental health issues remain the leading cause of long-term absences from work according to data released ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week by specialist financial mutual Wesleyan. More than a third (34 percent) of all income protection claims made to Wesleyan were due to mental health issues*. The next most common causes of long-term absence were musculoskeletal problems (13 percent) and cancer (13 percent)*. Wesleyan paid out almost 98 percent of all claims made for personal income protection benefits last year (against an industry average of 91 percent**), amounting to nearly £29 million.

The findings come in the wake of Wesleyan launching its Employee Income Protection Plan, which has been developed for dental and legal practices providing them with an additional benefit to help attract and retain staff. Clive Bridge, managing director of life and pensions at Wesleyan, said: “There has been a huge drive in recent years to raise awareness of mental health issues in the workplace. “Depression and anxiety can keep people off work for a long time. However, knowing they are still able to receive an income while they are unable to work eases the worry of how bills and expenses can still be paid, meaning they can concentrate fully on getting better. That is why we have updated our product offering to reflect this. Dental and legal practices can now offer better support to employees with an income protection policy that is part of an employee’s benefits package.”

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