JSA claimants: National Study of Work-search and Wellbeing

Mental health in context: the national study of work-search and wellbeing: DWP

  • 22.6% of recent JSA claimants had a common mental disorder (CMD) like anxiety or depression
  • People who started a JSA claim in the first quarter of 2011 had worse mental health than people of working age in the population as a whole
  • Two-thirds of JSA claimants believed that working leads to better health
  • Recent experience of adverse life events, such as a major financial crisis or a relationship breakdown, was relatively common: one in ten had been homeless or living in temporary accommodation in the previous 12 months
  • Discussion of health and wellbeing in work-focused interviews with Jobcentre Plus Personal Advisers was not widespread, but was found to be helpful when it happened
  • Satisfaction with support from Jobcentre Plus was lower among people with CMD than among those without, although a symptom of CMD is to tend towards more negative views
  • The experience of claiming JSA was associated with feelings of shame and the stigma of being on benefits. Personalised support and being treated respectfully were important to people