Our Set Up To Fail campaign

Our new research shows 100,000s of people experiencing high levels of mental distress may struggle to get the support they need from loved ones to manage their Universal Credit accounts and avoid sanctions.

That’s because needless flaws in the Universal Credit system make it too hard for people to nominate someone to help them. The system sets people up to fail when they need support. 

These problems are leaving people at risk of being cut off from Universal Credit, and are causing anguish for many.

This is one problem with Universal Credit that the government can easily fix. We’re calling on it to act now, so that anyone who needs help with Universal Credit can get it — instead of being #SetUpToFail.

Read more about these issues here, and sign our petition calling on government to act!

The report and campaign were kindly sponsored by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales.

Watch our Chief Executive explain why we’re campaigning:

Gary’s story

Gary is affected by depression and anxiety, both of which particularly came to the fore after he was made redundant last year. It was at that stage that he first applied for Universal Credit – he says:

“In the last year I was made redundant after being with a company for more than 23 years, and all the stress and worry has just come to the surface. I found the process of managing Universal Credit just horrendous and tough to follow, nothing is ever explained to you. At the moment I find it tough to deal with people as it’s hard to talk. 

“I can’t deal with the messages from the DWP myself, I need my wife’s help, but we can’t set it up for her to receive notifications about the account. We’ve filled all the forms in but it feels like a trap door assessment, if you answer something slightly wrong you fall through and that’s it, they’ll take the money away. It’s like the system’s designed to trip you up to fail.”

We’re delighted our campaign has been back by leading mental health and debt charities – including Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.