In the last decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of people claiming disability payments due to mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.
In the UK, Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for two mental health illnesses receive almost £1.6 billion annually, according to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) figures. Official projections indicate that spending on health under the same system would surge to £33 billion by 2029, up from £19 billion in the previous year. Experts suggest that a growing body of knowledge and changing public attitudes about mental health issues may be fueling this increased trend.
The PIP program is designed to help people dealing with mental health issues, disabilities, or long-term illnesses become more self-sufficient by giving them money to meet the extra costs that come with their condition. Individuals with difficulties with mobility due to cognitive or mental health disorders, such as anxiety, may be qualified for PIP mobility payments. The estimated overall cost of PIP expenditure by 2028/29 is £32.8 billion, with a substantial sum of £18.7 billion reported in the fiscal year 2022/23. There will likely be a rise from 2.9 million to 4.7 million people collecting disability payments.
Experts have been sounding the alarm about the possibility of a spike in new PIP claims due to the worsening health situation in the UK. British depression rates were much higher in the years after the COVID-19 epidemic, primarily attributable to the country’s severe cost of living issue. Over 430,000 people, some of whom had to wait more than two years, were waiting for a PIP review in August.
Factors contributing to the surge in expenditure on disability benefits include changing views on mental health, continuing effects of COVID-19, and increasing prices.
The government plans to help millions by putting £2.3 billion into mental health services and making welfare reform choices that would benefit the economy and people’s lives in the long run.