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Insurance agency staff facing more threats

TT/Charlotte West · 16 May 2009, 09:49

Published: 16 May 2009 09:49 GMT+02:00

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“This is totally unacceptable,” Sjödin told Sveriges Radio (SR).

She said the growing number of threats might be connected to increasingly stringent rules governing the country's social insurance benefits.

Social Insurance Office staff have faced threats of violence against themselves as well as suicide. A third of the 181 incidents reported so far this year have involved an individual who has threatened to harm him- or herself.

With a few exceptions, the threats have been connected to sickness benefits or allowances, the areas where the rules have been significantly tightened.

“We noted this upward trend in the autumn, and since then, the number has increased even more,” Sjödin told Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

“During the year, more and more individuals will receive the news that they are no longer entitled to sickness benefits, and we are prepared for the number of threats to increase. We cannot be niave about the situation.”

At the end of the year, a large group of people currently receiving long-term sickness allowances will lose their benefits.

“Most often, the individuals behind these threats are extremely desperate. Totally normal people who lose it when their economic situation falls apart. Of course, we are sympathetic with them, but it is totally unacceptable that our staff are exposed to this,” Sjödin said.

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At the same time, she acknowledged that Social Insurance Office staff have possibly also become more inclined to report threats.

In 2005, there were 186 reports of threats against employees. As of April this year, staff have reported 181 incidents. Since 2001/2002, there has been an upward trend in the number of reports from the previous year: from 34 to 250, according to statistics from DN.

TT/Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:49 May 16, 2009 by zeero
If they would have done their job properly that wouldn't have happened. The fact is that Försäkringskassan is heavy and bureaucratic organization that very often like to make things more complicated then they should be.

If they will make a survey they will find out what the public think about them...

They day is not far for someone to take his/her anger on Försäkringskassan.

Försäkringskassan like to talk but when it come to do something... well they do sxxt!
12:35 May 16, 2009 by SaltWater
Actually what you are trying to do is another threat, Försäkringskassan is very important for a wellfair state, I agree with it completely!
14:15 May 16, 2009 by powerofknowledge
OO i think we should respect the Law and the Rules by them we get money, threating someone is some kind of a crime, Försäkringskassan has some rules to give people money if you dont follow the rules "its your problem" .
16:12 May 16, 2009 by mobings
Policies need to be revised keeping in view all the aspects. And policies are meant to be changed for the best interest of every one.
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