The changing profile of incapacity claimants

Christina Beatty and Fothergill Steve

in Work, Health and Wellbeing

Published by Policy Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428080
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305637 | DOI:
The changing profile of incapacity claimants

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  • Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility


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This chapter considers the changing profile of incapacity benefit claimants. It draws in particular on two surveys, carried out eight years apart, of male IB claimants in Barrow in North West England, an area badly affected by industrial job losses. It shows how a cohort of skilled workers made redundant in the 1990s, often with strong aspirations to return to work, has gradually been replaced by a new group of poorly qualified and low-skill men with health problems who have become thoroughly detached from the labour market and mostly now express little desire to return to work. The chapter also comments on comparisons with women, highlighting the extent to which the men and women on incapacity benefits come from a similar segment of the workforce. The evidence points to the difficulty of moving incapacity claimants back to work, especially in weaker local economies at a time of recession.

Keywords: incapacity benefits; skills; motivation; unemployment; Barrow-in-Furness

Chapter.  6466 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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