for better mental health

Still time to reverse damaging PIP changes

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 Ayaz Manji, Mind Policy & Campaigns Officer

Today the Government’s changes to Personal Independence Payments come into effect, but it’s not too late. We’re still fighting to see the law reversed and we need your help.

Life can cost more when you’re living with a mental health problem. If panic attacks or anxiety mean you struggle to get by on public transport then it can be expensive to get to the GP, get to work or even to visit friends. And for the days when getting of the house is a struggle then it can take a real toll on your fuel and heating bills. The charity Scope found that on average disabled people face extra costs of £550 a month, and people with mental health problems are no exception.

That’s why it’s so important that those of us with mental health problems can get the support we need from the benefits system to stay well and live independent lives. Getting the right benefits can mean being able to get out and about, to see people, to exercise, to get to your appointments, and to know that if you have a bad day you won’t have to face the added anxiety of worrying how you’re going to afford your next heating bill.

The Governments’ changes to Personal Indepedence Payments tighten up access to what’s already a difficult, confusing and anxiety-inducing system. The law that comes into force today will mean that people who struggle to get out of the house because of psychological distress will continue to be denied the same benefits as other disabled people. This flies in the face of what the Government said when they first introduced PIP:

“The personal independence payment assessment will look at disabled people as individuals, rather than labelling them by their health condition or impairment.”

The law comes into force today, but because of the way Parliament works, we still have until April 3 to get it reversed. We’re doing everything we can and we need your help.

We have pulled together what we know about the changes into an FAQ, which you can view here.

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