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STUDY: 37 per cent of people with mild MS are employed, however, many have to change or quit their jobs due to their fluctuating functional capability...75 per cent of MSers report that MS has impacted their employment and career opportunities

This study highlights the problems faced by people of working age who have multiple sclerosis (MS) and what more can be done to support them to live full and meaningful working lives.

  • On average, 37 per cent of people with mild MS are employed, however, many have to change or quit their jobs due to fluctuating functional capability;
  • More than 75 per cent of people with MS report that the condition has impacted their employment and career opportunities;
  • Up to 80 per cent of people with MS stop working within 15 years of the onset of the condition;
  • At the same time 30 per cent of individuals with a significant level of disability remain in employment;
  • Up to 44 per cent of people with MS retire early due to their condition – a higher percentage than the European average (35 per cent);
  • As a result of reduced availability of social services, a considerable burden of the costs associated with MS falls on those with the condition and their carers;
  • Professional careers of 57 per cent of relatives are adversely affected by MS of a family member;
  • People with MS lose an average of 18 working years, assuming a retirement age of 60. If one worker with MS draws Employment Support Allowance (ESA) for 18 years the total cost (at 2011 prices) will be £61,000. If 20,000 people are on ESA benefits for 18 years the cost to the welfare system is over £1.2 billion. This takes no account of the income tax which these workers would be paying;
  • The annual costs of MS may vary from £12,000 for those with low disability scores to £60,000 for those with severe disability stage. One estimate suggests that MS costs UK society about £2.3 billion per year. 

Click to read PDF of the full study



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