Giving people with mental health problems equal access to vital services

image of our benefits report cover

Rachel Braverman, Research Officer, Nikki Bond, Research Officer, and Katie Evans, Head of Research and Policy

The benefits assault course

Making the UK benefits system more accessible for people with mental health problems

4 March 2019

This report shows that many people with mental health problems struggle to navigate the benefits system because of common symptoms such as reduced concentration, increased impulsivity and memory problems.

These difficulties are being compounded by overly complicated and bureaucratic processes in the benefits system, which are causing significant psychological distress for many people already struggling with their mental health.

To ensure the benefits system is accessible for people experiencing mental health problems, Money and Mental Health recommends:

    • Introducing adjustments to ensure anyone experiencing mental health problems can navigate the benefits system. These could include offering a wider range of communication channels through which people can engage with the benefits system, or giving people with mental health problems advance sight of the questions they will encounter in benefits interviews.
    • Providing targeted support for people with severe or enduring mental health problems to access the benefits system, including an exemption for people in mental health crisis from having to undertake Universal Credit interviews and assessments.
  • Simplifying the reassessment process for people with severe mental illnesses.