Help to get through benefits changes
Everything from the bedroom tax to the end of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), crisis loans to Universal Credit seems to be happening in April.
As a result, many people on benefits are fearful. Journalists aren’t reporting all the facts. And the public is completely confused about whether these changes are good or bad.
If you need to understand what is happening, either to your benefits or for someone you care about, download our free new benefits pack: benefits changes pack colour version (948 kb)
Or get the black and white version: benefits changes pack black and white version (598 kb)
It covers all the changes announced in full so far. And it is in Plain English so that you don’t have to be a lawyer or a benefits expert to get the information you need.
We want everyone to know what the changes are, even though we think some of them are deeply unfair to people with mental illness. Many people claiming housing benefit simply won’t be able to move to a smaller house and are already struggling on low incomes. The current benefits tests for Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) need to improve before extending a similar regime to DLA. And we are really worried that people needing crisis loans will find it harder than before.
That’s why we’re determined to keep fighting for a fair benefits system for people with mental illness. We are a little encouraged to see that 7 in 10 of the public now say they are concerned about the impact of cuts to disability benefit. We’re proud to have fought for and won the independent review of ESA, aka the ‘Harrington Review’. We know how serious the situation is for some people – last year, 84% of GPs told us they have patients who have developed mental health problems as a result of undergoing, or fear of undergoing, the Work Capability Assessment. 21% told us they had patients who had become suicidal as a result. We want to keep shining a light on the system as well as giving people the information they vitally need.
Remember, if you need individual advice about benefits, you can ring our specialist advisers on 0300 5000 927. They are available Monday to Friday from 10 until 2. We have extended the opening hours this month to help more people who are struggling. You can also contact our advisers through this form or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re not affected by these changes, could you help out people who are? We can only give people advice and information because of donations from the public. Please give to help us keep going.
If you are affected and you want more information as we get it, sign up for emails on our homepage. You will then be the first to get information on what’s happening with benefits, news on mental health and how to campaign.