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Benefit sanctions and mental health

When you're out of work because of a mental health problem, the fear of getting benefits sanctions can be a huge source of anxiety. Read about the changes we're demanding to the benefits system, and get involved in our campaign.

What we're fighting for

People tell us that even when they've not received a sanction, the fear of it often makes their mental health worse. And it makes it harder to trust Jobcentre staff.

We need a system where people with mental health problems have choice, control and support with returning to work. Without the threat of sanctions.

We want the government to make 5 key changes to the benefits system. These changes will help make sure we're treated with respect and dignity when dealing with benefits. And they'll reduce the fear of being sanctioned when we're at our lowest.

  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 the system 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 sanctions

"Sanctions heaped on the pressure and made my mind more muddled and less able to cope with day to day activities as well as job hunting."

"I've always been frightened when I've been asked to attend Jobcentre. You don't know if the person you are seeing will believe you. I even get scared when I get a brown envelope through the post."

"It made me not trust the Jobcentre staff and not want to tell them anything. I was also more worried about going to the Jobcentre in case I had done something wrong without knowing."

How you can get involved

Have you been through the benefits system? Were you worried about the threat of sanctions? Would you have liked your experience to be different?

Become a campaigner with Mind, and you can help make sure other people's experiences are different. That they're listened to, and respected.

When you sign up to be a campaigner, 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 benefits system.

Become a campaigner

Where to get benefits support

If you're struggling to access benefits, or you're worried about sanctions, there are lots of organisations that can help you. Check out our list of organisations to see which one could help.

Go to our list of benefits support organisations

Other ways to get involved

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