We often encourage clients to invest in policies such as Life Insurance and Critical Illness Cover to protect against worst case scenarios, but what about more common scenarios such as mental health absences?

Income protection* provides you with the peace of mind that if you need time off work, you won’t have the added stress of worrying about covering the bills, with up to 60% of your income paid out on absence.

How common is mental health absence?

It may surprise you that recent ECIS data shows that mental health absences are as common as those for colds and bugs. This now means mental illness is one of the top three reasons for employee absence, along with musculoskeletal conditions and general sickness.

A recent NHS report also shows that almost a third of ‘fit for work’ notes issued by GPs are for psychiatric problems, making it the most common reason for the notes to be issued, ahead of musculoskeletal diseases.

How can you make sure you’re protected?

It is important to ensure that when off work due to mental illness, you don’t have the added stress of worrying about the lack of money coming in, as this can exacerbate the problem and extend your absence.

Fortunately, most income protection providers pay out for mental health absence. This means that unless you have budget income protection, you will receive payment each time you are absent from work after the deferred period has elapsed.

What if I already have cover?

We recommend a good protection menu plan that covers all the scenarios that might make you vulnerable to financial shocks from long-term absence.

Mental health absences are becoming more and more long-term, with one in five psychiatric ‘fit for work’ notes issued for a period of over 12 weeks. This means a decreased likelihood that your employer that will be able to cover you during the period of absence, making income protection even more important to consider.

*Payment Protection Insurance is optional. There are other providers of Payment Protection Insurance and other products designed to protect you against loss of income.

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