Nearly half of brain injury survivors were forced to claim benefits, study finds

“When you have a brain injury, because it changes your sense of self on such a dramatic level, all the insecurities you have going into the workplace quadruple overnight,” Clarke told the Big Issue.

Jenny added: “This research clearly highlights the many complex challenges that people who have experienced a brain injury face when returning to work. Survivors have reported pressures to return before they are ready, as well as difficulties financial benefits and even an increased risk of homelessness.

As the Big Issue has reported, benefits are too low for people to afford the essentials and disability benefits are difficult to access, adding to the stress on brain injury survivors.

It follows recent government proposals to push people with long-term health conditions into work through increasingly punitive methods. Both the Conservatives and Labor have pledged to increase the number of people with health conditions at work.

The Big Issue Group and SameYou want a supportive approach. Organizations are collaborating to support brain injury survivors and their loved ones to return to work. Big Issue Recruit, the specialist careers service of the Big Issue Group, will introduce specialist job coaches to support individuals individually throughout their job search and beyond.

Jenny added: “We are proud to partner with Big Issue Recruit, supporting brain injury survivors and their carers with their return to work by building their confidence and finding the right employment pathways for them. “

The organizations are also calling on employers to better meet the needs of people returning to work after a brain injury.

Nearly a third (27%) of brain injury survivors said they felt pressured by an employer to return to work before they were ready.

One in five survivors who returned to work rated the support they received from their employers as ‘poor’ and over 50% of survivors had to make some changes to either their role, their employer or their hours of returning to work.

Paul Cheal, chief executive of the Big Issue Group, said: “There is a clear need to create more support and clear pathways for those returning to work after experiencing a brain injury.

“We are delighted to extend the work of Big Issue Recruit to a wider group of people who face barriers to work – brain injury survivors and carers of people who have experienced a brain injury. These are often a group of people forgotten in society.”

The new partnership between SameYou and the Big Issue Group aims to help survivors like Emilia face the often overwhelming prospect of returning to work after brain injury. 61% of respondents to their survey said they would have benefited from a job coach to ease their return to work.

Big Issue Recruit supports people who face barriers to work finding sustainable employment and this partnership will extend this support to brain injury survivors and their carers. Individuals will work one-on-one with expert job coaches to get back to work. Big Issue Recruit works with candidates before, during and after employment to ensure that this employment is truly sustainable.

Cheal added: “Our ambition is not only to highlight the challenges brain injury survivors face in returning to work or finding a new role, but also to work together to strengthen the support we offer candidates by adding a job coach in the Big Issue Recruiting team to specialize in this area of ​​need.”

If you would like to register to use the service as a candidate or find out more about how your business can support people with disabilities into employment, visit, email or call 0207 526 3200.

Read the full interview with Emilia Clarke in The Big Issue magazine on sale from today (June 10).

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