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Benefits: Back to work support

If you take time off work for your mental health, there should be support in place when you're ready to come back. But right now, that's not happening. Read what we're demanding, and get involved with our campaign.

What we're fighting for

When you're out of work because of a mental health problem, it's important you get good support. That means:

  • The right benefits so you can manage your money when you're unwell
  • Advice and guidance to find a supportive employer when you're ready to return to work

But right now, too many of us can't get what we need from Jobcentres or from the healthcare system. We're campaigning to change that.

We have 5 simple demands for the UK government to improve the benefits system, and make it easier for people who have to take time off work.

  1. An independent regulator for the benefits system. There's currently an imbalance of power. This makes it hard for us to challenge inaccurate benefits decisions. A regulator would help shift this balance.

  2. A clearer route to long-term benefits. Making it easier to get awarded long-term benefits would reduce the burden of repeated assessments.

  3. Give people more choice in how they're assessed. This would make sure that all disabled people have the chance to put their case across in a way that's fair to them.

  4. An independent commission led by disabled people. This would give people who have experience of benefits a role in designing the future of assessments.

  5. An end to benefit sanctions for disabled people. For people who can't work, this would give them the financial security and peace of mind they need to stay well and move forward with their lives.

People's experiences of going back to work



Andy used to be a headteacher. But after experiencing depression and not getting the right support, he had to leave his role. He talks about his experiences, and what support he'd want to see from the system.

"The advisors had little knowledge about mental health and when I asked to see the specialist they had, it became apparent she knew little more than the others. Basically there was very little understanding about my condition and therefore no personalised support, just all generic support."

"I had to attend a weekly self-help management course at my local Jobcentre. I had to attend or face sanctioning. But it was focusing more on people in pain. I did say a number of times at these meeting that this doesn't apply to me. I'm not in pain as such, I have a mental health problem."

"My meetings and breakdowns would happen in the middle of an open-plan Jobcentre which is unacceptable. Meetings should be in a private space and they need to be able to offer tissues and even a hot drink if the person is distressed. They need to be able to show that they are on your side!"

How to get involved

Sign up to be a campaigner with Mind, and you'll be the first to hear about campaigns we have running, petitions you can sign, and other ways you can get involved with improving the mental health system.

There are lots of ways you can support as a campaigner. Whether that's writing to your MP, signing petitions, or speaking to us about your experiences of mental health.

Become a campaigner

Where to get support

There are lots of organisations which can help if you're off work for your mental health, or if you need support with applying for benefits.

See our list of support organisations

Other ways to get involved

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