Mind responds to study showing that expansions in social security system and increasing benefits can improve mental health outcomes
Mind have responded to the first systematic review on the effects of social security reforms on mental health by Newcastle University.
Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations at Mind says:
“This report shows that when a social security system works, it can help reduce inequality, improve mental health and keep people afloat, allowing people to rebuild their lives. Unfortunately, the current benefits system in the UK is having a detrimental impact on some people’s mental health, and we’re especially concerned that even more people with mental health problems are being left behind during the pandemic.
“Benefits should provide a safety net, for example when someone’s mental health prevents them earning enough to live on. Too often, people lose this lifeline, because their illness or disability causes problems understanding communications about their claim or prevents them attending an assessment – and people are left without the support they desperately need.
"Mind regularly hears from people who have had endured awful experiences at the hands of a benefits system that’s made needlessly complicated and stressful, resulting in worsening mental health. Mind’s report People, Not Tick-Boxes makes the case for urgent reform of the disability benefits system.
“In their initial response to the pandemic, the UK Government showed a fairer and more compassionate system was possible – by increasing benefits, introducing remote assessments, suspending reassessments and pausing sanctions. But these measures were temporary. We have been urging the DWP to urgently end repeated reassessments and remove sanctions from people with long term mental health problems, even after we begin to recover from the pandemic.
"The UK Government must not only retain the £20 a week increase to Universal Credit (UC), but urgently commit to extending it to the thousands of disabled people, including those of us with mental health problems, who are not on UC and receiving older benefits, so people can afford to get by.”