Money & Benefits
If you are living with a Mental health illness, Physical impairment or Learning difficulties, there might be welfare benefits you could be entitled which helps you financially. There are always changes happening to the welfare benefits system, so it is important to keep checking to ensure you receive the maximum support. We understand the importance of having financial stability as we know it helps avoid unnecessary stress which may lead to relapse or crisis.
Employment and Support Allowance is a benefit that you might be able to claim if you cannot work as a result of illness or disability.
It has replaced Incapacity Benefit, Income Support on disability grounds, and Severe Disablement Allowance.
Depending on where you live, if you are not well enough to work, you might have to claim Universal Credit. Find out if you can apply for UC in your area. You can also read more detailed information about Universal Credit on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit
Personal Independent Payment (PIP) is a benefit you can claim if you have a mental health condition and need help day-to-day, with getting around or both. You can get PIP whether you are working or not, as it is not impacted by any income or savings you might have. Find out more about Personal Independence Payment for mental health problems on the government website at https://www.gov.uk/pip. You can call the Department for Work and Pensions PIP Claims number on 0800 917 2222, Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm.
Housing Benefit (HB) is a benefit to help people on a low income to pay their rent. It is usually paid by your local council – you can’t use it to pay your mortgage.
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules are used to work out how much housing benefit you get if you rent from a private landlord. The LHA rates depend on how old you are, what area you live in, the number of people in your household and the size of the property. This can range from a single room in a shared house up to a property with four bedrooms.
LHA rates for the size of accommodation should be available from the local council and this could help you to work out how much housing benefit you would get if you moved to a new address. Find out LHA rates.
The local authority can decide you do not need to pay council tax – this is called exemption. Exemption due to severe mental impairment
The council tax rules say that a person is exempt from council tax if they have a ‘severe mental impairment’. It says that ‘a person is severely mentally impaired if they have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent’.
To get this, you need a doctor to sign a medical certificate that says you are severely mentally impaired and you need to get one of the following benefits:
- Disability Living Allowance with the middle or highest rate care component
- Personal Independence Payment Daily Living Component (standard or enhanced rate)
- Attendance Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance with a disability premium
- Working Tax Credit with the disability element
Contact your Local Council for more information.
Universal Credit (UC) is a new benefit you can claim if you have a low income. You might be able to get it if you are working on a low income, or if you are too unwell to work.
The money you will receive will depend on your circumstance but could include money to live on and money to pay your rent. It is currently being introduced across the country and will eventually replace some benefits you may already get.
Depending on where you live, if you are not well enough to work you might have to claim Employment and Support Allowance instead of Universal Credit. Find out if you can apply for Universal Credit at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/jobcentres-where-you-can-claim-universal-credit in your area.