People suffering from mental health issues often find it difficult to afford their living costs. This is why we aim to learn through this article whether you can claim benefits if you have mental health issues. We will also discuss the benefits one can claim in such cases and their eligibility criteria.

Can You Claim Benefits If You Have Mental Health Issues?

Yes, you can claim benefits if you have mental health issues. These benefits can help you pay for living expenses which include food, rent and childcare. You will be eligible for them whether you work full-time, part-time or are unable to work due to your mental health condition. However, certain benefits can only be claimed by someone who is unable to work due to mental health issues and requires constant care. 

There are 3 main benefits that you can claim if you regularly need support to manage your mental health. These include the following: 

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people over 16 to State Pension age 
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people under 16 
  • Attendance Allowance (AA) for people at or above State Pension age

You can claim Personal Independence Payments which is a state benefit that covers the additional costs of disability or mental illnesses for claimants. 

In addition to this, if someone is unable to work due to a mental health condition or disability (termed as “limited capability for work”), they may also claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). You can claim ESA and PIP at the same time; should you qualify to meet the conditions for both benefits. 

In certain cases, adults who face mental health issues will be able to claim Universal Credit due to their limited capability for work; while sometimes their parents can claim this benefit if they are the ones taking care of a disabled adult. 

If someone’s mental health issues increase the requirement of being supervised or being taken care of by someone else, they can claim Attendance Allowance. However, this applies to those individuals who have surpassed the State Pension age and require supervision due to their health conditions. 

In some cases, you can also claim Housing benefits and Council Tax support and discounts. However, to be able to claim benefits for mental health issues, the claimant should have long-term effects of their condition that can last up to 12 months; as well as be restricted in their ability to perform basic tasks such as taking care of themselves or interacting with others.

Once you apply to the DWP for these benefits, you will be asked to provide supportive evidence of your claim. In some cases you might be asked to provide a letter from your GP; while in others, you will be asked to undergo an assessment to confirm your claim.

In addition to claiming benefits, anyone suffering from mental health issues can also seek help from the below-listed forums:

  • the NHS
  • charities and organisations
  • online advice and helplines

What Benefits Can You Claim If You Have Mental Health Issues?

Depending on the severity of an individual’s symptoms, their age and the impact of their condition on their daily life, there are different benefits that they can claim. If your condition is severe and prevents you from taking up a job or continuing working, you may be able to claim the following benefits:

  • Attendance Allowance 
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Disability Living Allowance

If you can work but your condition affects your ability to do your job, you may be able to claim:

  • Universal Credit 
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Job Seeker’s Allowance

In addition to this, individuals suffering from mental health issues can also apply for the following benefits:

  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Statuary Sick Pay
  • Housing Benefit For Mental Health Support
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Support For Mortgage Interest
  • Cold Weather Payment

You can check your (or someone else’s) eligibility to claim benefits by adding some basic information to an online benefits calculator.

How Do You Claim Benefits If You Have Mental Health Issues?

You can claim benefits by contacting your local council or the Department for Work and Pensions. However, claimants must ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria for the benefits they claim.

Below are some guidelines to follow when considering claiming benefits due to mental health issues:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a state benefit that is slowly replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA). It is intended to provide support to members of the community who are unable to meet their living costs. You can check if your mental health condition prevents you from performing everyday tasks before you apply for POP. 
  • Attendance Allowance is a tax-free state benefit applicable to those individuals who have surpassed the state pension age and require supervision due to their health condition. It can be claimed as a monthly allowance by those individuals who need assistance with meeting the extra costs of a disability or the support of a carer due to old age. 
  • To qualify for Universal Credit you must be on a low income and your savings should be below £16,000. However, you will be asked to sign a Claimant Commitment; according to which your Work Coach will encourage you to prepare for a job and look for work. They will also ask you to attend regular meetings and will guide you in your job search.
  • In the case of Employment and Support Allowance, you will be able to qualify if you have made sufficient contributions towards National Insurance in the previous 2 to 3 years. However, your means will not be tested for this benefit. This means that the authorities will not take into consideration whether you are on a low income or not or if you have savings below a certain threshold.

Conclusion:

The discussion in this blog post helps to conclude that individuals facing mental health issues can claim welfare benefits whether they are employed or unemployed. While the primary benefits that can be claimed in such a condition are Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance, depending on your eligibility, you may also claim other benefits including Universal Credit.

FAQs: Can You Claim Benefits If You Have Mental Health Issues?

Can you get benefits for depression?

Yes, you can claim benefits for depression if your condition prevents you from performing everyday tasks and you have long-lasting symptoms.

Can I get PIP for mental health?

Yes, you can claim Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for mental health issues.

What happens if I can’t work due to mental illness?

If you cannot work at a full-time job due to a mental illness, you may be offered to reduce your working hours. If that is not possible for you to manage, you can claim benefits based on limited capability for work or limited capability for work-related activity.

How do you prove mental disability?

To prove a mental disability, you would need a letter from your doctor that states the details of your condition, the medication that you have been prescribed as well as their recommendation for your condition.

Can you be evicted if you have mental health issues?

No, you cannot be evicted if you have mental health issues and your health concern is categorised as a disability under the Equality Act 2010 as this will be considered direct discrimination.

References:

Claiming benefits when you have a mental health problem – Mind.

Benefits and mental health | Disability charity Scope the UK

What benefits could I get if I have a mental health problem? | by Cara Lewis | Aug 2022 | We are Citizens Advice

Mental health services – NHS

Benefits and mental health | Disability charity Scope the UK

When a mental health condition becomes a disability – GOV.UK

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?