Purpose: For persons on disability benefits who are facing multiple problems, active labour market poli- cies seem less successful. Besides health problems, these people perceive personal, social, and environ- mental problems. Since very little is known about these “non-medical” problems our aim was to explore the prevalence of clients experiencing multiple problems, the types and number of perceived problems, combinations of perceived problems, and associated characteristics in a group of work disability benefit recipients.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study, using self-reported data on perceived problems and socio-demographics, and register data from the Dutch Social Security Institute on diagnosed diseases and employment status. A convenient group of labour experts recruited eligible clients on work disability benefit.
Results: Of the 207 persons on work disability benefit, 87% perceived having multiple problems. Most reported problems were related to physical (76%) or mental (76%) health. Health problems most fre- quently occurred together with a mismatch in education, financial problems, or care for family members. Clients with lower education experienced significantly more problems than clients with an intermediate or high educational level.
Conclusions: Clients with multiple problems face severe and intertwined problems in different domains of life, and need tailored multi-actor work disability management.