Money & UK Benefits
People with mental health issues often run into financial problems. You may be unable to work because of your illness, spend impulsively, or find it hard to keep track of your finances. The links on this page provide information on money, debt and benefits and are aimed at people in the UK.
Finances and Mental Health
Advice and information on how to stay on top of your financial affairs despite the difficulties caused by mental health problems.
Money Saving Expert
A consumer website with information and advice on all aspects of saving money. A brilliant resource.
from Citizens Advice
Online advice about benefits, housing, debt, employment and many other things.
Find your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau here.
The following are benefits you might be able to claim because you or someone you look after has a mental health problem. There are many other benefits available, such as Jobseekers Allowance for people who are looking for work - see Adviceguide for more details.
Employment and Support Allowance
For people who cannot work due to illness and are not receiving sick pay from an employer. ESA replaces incapacity benefit (and income support on sickness grounds) for new claimants.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
Benefits for people on a low income to help them pay their rent and council tax. If you're on ESA, income support or incapacity benefit you'll usually be entitled to these too.
Disability Living Allowance
DLA is a benefit for disabled people who have personal care needs or who need help in getting around. In mental health terms, this might be because you struggle to look after yourself properly (e.g. washing, eating regularly), you need someone around to prevent you from self-harming, or you feel unable to leave the house alone (e.g. due to panic attacks). For DLA purposes, mental health problems count as a disability if you've had them for at least three months and they're likely to last for at least another six months. DLA is not income-assessed and you can claim it on top of other benefits or if you work.
This is a benefit for people who look after someone who is sick or disabled. You can claim carer's allowance if you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who receives middle or higher rate DLA. NB. You can put in your claim for carer's allowance as soon as the person you look after applies for DLA - you don't have to wait for their application to be approved.
Working Tax Credits
If you work more than 16 hours a week, are on a low income and have a long-term mental health problem, you might be able to claim working tax credit to top up your income.
Information and advice on benefits and work for people with long-term health problems. Among other things, they produce a guide to claiming disability living allowance on mental health grounds.
Managing on Benefits
Practical advice for people experiencing mental distress or illness on how to access and maintain any welfare benefits they are entitled to.
The official DWP benefits website. Includes details of how much money you would receive for each benefit, as well as information on how to apply.
Help for Disabled People
Information on how Jobcentre Plus can help disabled people (including those with long-term mental health problems) who are looking for work.
If you're having debt problems, avoid the debt management companies that advertise on TV or in the tabloids. They are commercial companies who want to make money out of you and will cost you a lot in the long run. Instead, contact your local citizens advice bureau (details at the top of the page) or use one of the free debt advice agencies listed below.
Help with Debt
Advice on dealing with debt.
Problem Debts? Where to Start and What to Do
A step-by-step guide to help you start dealing with debt.
Free, confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems.
Consumer Credit Counselling Service
Free, confidential advice and support.
Free debt advice agency.