The number of people on long-term disability benefits in Europe is rising and this group is particularly at risk of social exclusion. Although many of those away from work for a long period due to illness or injury would like to rejoin the workforce, very few actually do so in practice. This situation means that potential workers are absent from the labour market and there is pressure on social security systems.

One of the key strategies for reversing this trend and helping long-term benefit claimants to return to work is a system of effective employment guidance and counselling services. By looking at case studies in 10 Member States, this report identifies examples of good practice in employment services for people who have become disability claimants in the course of their working lives.

It concludes that there is overall a lack of awareness of the specific needs of people on longterm disability benefits and a need for a wider range of initiatives specially targeted at this group.

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