Where you can find help
We know that the changes to benefits, and the process of applying for benefits itself, is a cause of significant distress to many people.
We receive a lot of contact about these issues, particularly around Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and the Work Capability Assessment (WCA).
Unfortunately, the national office of Mind does not have the capacity or expertise to offer personalised benefits advice. However a number of local Mind associations do provide such a service.
If you do not have relevant local support from Mind, then we would recommend contacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau to seek advice and support.
We have also produced a Benefits FAQs page which you may find helpful. This page answers the questions which are most frequently asked by people contacting the Mind Infoline.
Although we do not offer personalised advice on benefits, we recognise that the WCA is flawed and that anyone with a mental health problem undergoing the assessment should take measures to ensure that they are treated fairly.
Judy Stenger of Neath Mind has produced a number of factsheets on ESA and the WCA specifically aimed at people with mental health problems:
- What is ESA? (PDF)
- The assessment process (PDF)
- The points system (PDF)
- The 'medical' assessment (PDF)
- Decisions and consequences (PDF)
The following links from Gov.uk have more information on specific benefits.
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Benefit