Money and Mental Health response to government’s proposed changes to disability benefits assessments
9 September 2023
Yesterday the government published its plans for new changes to disability benefit assessments, which included plans for more people with severe mental health problems to be encouraged to look for work they can do from home.
The government also said that it aims to reduce the numbers of people claiming incapacity benefits – a benefit payment for people judged unable to work.
Responding to the new changes, Conor D’Arcy, Interim Chief Executive at the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said: “The government is right to acknowledge that the changing world of work – particularly the rise of remote work – opens up new opportunities. That’s true for some of us with mental health problems: our symptoms might make a 9-5 day in an office impossible but more flexible work from home could be doable.
“But the way this tricky question is being approached seems to depend too much on sticks rather than carrots. If you’re struggling with your mental health, the threat of having your income cut if you don’t find work doesn’t set you up to recover.
“So while some reform of this system makes sense, the most urgent change is more support. That means staff in Jobcentres who really understand how mental health problems affect us practically, and how symptoms often fluctuate. A system that listens to the people it’s aiming to support, takes their needs into account, accepts when they’re unable to work but helps them explore their options is what’s needed.”
To set up an interview or for any other media enquiries, please contact Rachel Fergusson, External Affairs Officer at Money and Mental Health, on 07935 216 804 or email@example.com
Notes to Editors
- The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute is an independent charity set up by Martin Lewis, and committed to breaking the link between financial difficulty and mental health problems. We conduct research, develop practical policy solutions and work in partnership with both those providing services and those using them to find what really works. www.moneyandmentalhealth.org