This study examined the association between mental ill-health and subsequent receipt of a disability pension in Australia, and assessed how the strength of the association varied in relation to the duration between mental health measurement and reported disability pension receipt.Methods:
Eight thousand four hundred seventy-four working-age adults not receiving a disability pension at baseline were followed for up to 11 years; 349 transitioned onto a disability pension. Discrete-time survival analysis considered baseline and time-varying (12-month lagged) measures of mental ill-health.Results:
Proximal measures of mental ill-health were more strongly associated with subsequent pension receipt than baseline measures (odds ratio: 6.6 vs 3.9) and accounted for a significantly greater proportion of pension transitions (35% vs 21%).Conclusion:
Mental ill-health is an independent risk factor for disability pension receipt, and proximal circumstances better capture this association than mental health measured earlier.