Mental health complaints still the leading cause of occupational disability
Mental health complaints were still the primary reason for occupational disability benefits in the Netherlands in 2020. Benefits agency UWV paid out over 346,000 occupational disability benefits for mental health issues in that year, about 40 percent of the total, Statistics Netherlands reported.
At the end of 2020, UWV paid 816,000 disability benefits to over 758,000 people - 365,000 men and 394,000 women. After mental health problems, diseases of the bone and muscular system (154,000) were the most common reason. Nervous system, eye, and ear diseases came in third place with 84,000.
Compared to the end of 2011, there was little change in the number of benefits per main category. Then too mental health problems were the primary cause for occupational disability benefits. Exceptions are bone and muscle diseases, where the number of diagnoses decreased by 20 percent. And the number of developmental disorders, like ADHD and disorders on the autism spectrum, increased by 80 percent. This category was introduced in 2007. The growth happened mainly up to and including 2014, the stats office said.
Among women, the five most common reasons for occupational disability were all in the mental health category - major depressive episodes (10 percent of benefits), amentia (6 percent), post-traumatic stress disorder (3 percent), borderline personality disorder (3 percent), and other mental disorders (2 percent). Together, these mental health problems account for a quarter of all occupational disability benefits paid out to women in 2020.
For men, four of the five most common diagnoses fell under the mental health category - amentia (8 percent), major depressive episodes (7 percent), other mental disorders (4 percent), and schizophrenia. The fifth most common reason for occupational disability - mild intellectual disability (3 percent) - fell under the developmental disorders category.
Reporting by ANP.