The problems with Universal Credit for people with mental health problems
Universal Credit is a single, monthly benefit that replaces several benefits. It's replacing the benefits which support people who are too unwell to work.
But the way it's been rolled out has already caused real problems for many people with mental health problems. And for some, these problems have been devastating.
We've heard from many of our local Minds and campaigners that people are really struggling with the process. From the online system to how and when payments are made, it leaves people vulnerable to debt and makes their mental health worse.
Even research from the Department for Work and Pensions shows that many issues with Universal Credit need resolving. They found, for people with long-term health conditions:
- 24% could not register a claim online
- 53% said they needed more support setting up their claim
- 38% said they needed more ongoing support
- 50% were in financial difficulties
The impact we've made so far
We've been urging government to fix these issues. Especially as they're now starting to tell some people receiving older benefits to apply for Universal Credit instead.
We've told them no-one should have their existing benefits stopped until they have established a claim to Universal Credit.
Sophie Corlett, our former Director of External Relations, has also given evidence to the Public Accounts Committee. Watch the video above to see what she had to say.
You can also watch the full video on Parliament TV.
How you can get involved
Have you been through the benefits system? Were you treated with respect and dignity? 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.
Where to get benefits support
Going through the benefits system can be tough. Especially when you're dealing with your mental health. But there are organisations out there that can help.