By Geralda Doca and Pollyanna Brêtas in Jornal Extra.
In the year marked by the pandemic, the granting of sickness benefits and disability retirement due to mental and behavioral disorders broke a record in 2020, totaling 576,600 leaves, according to data from the Special Secretariat for Social Security and Labor – a 26% increase in compared to that recorded in 2019. The increase indicates the effect of the coronavirus crisis on the mental health of workers, according to experts.
In the case of sickness benefits, sick leave due to mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, registered the highest increase among the main diseases indicated as a reason for claiming the benefit. The number of concessions increased from 213.2 thousand in 2019 to 285.2 thousand in 2020, an increase of 33.7%.
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The increase in the grant of sickness benefits due to mental disorders surpassed the champion on the list, which are injuries caused by external factors, such as accidents. And yet the problems classified as musculoskeletal and of the conjunctive system, in the case of back pain, arthrosis, repetitive strain injury (RSI) and gout, for example, which are in the second place in the ranking. In this case, the increase was 28.8% between 2019 and 2020.