Improved benefits system needed to help people with mental health problems

Mental health charities have told MPs a simplified and more
flexible benefits system is needed that recognises people with
mental health problems can experience fluctuations in their
capacity, writes Amy Taylor.

There needs to be tangible tax credit and benefits system that
allows those with mental health problems to take gradual steps into
work, starting part-time, without automatically losing
benefits, according to Rethink, formerly known as the National
Schizophrenia Fellowship.

The Mental After Care Association (MACA) also said people
suffering from mental health problems want to work, but are
seriously worried about losing the security of their benefits.

MACA continued by saying there is a widespread belief amongst
employers that people with mental health problems are incapable of
working productively, and called for resources to combat employers’
doubts. It said these could be in the form of a financial incentive
that subsidises a person with a disability at work by paying for
all their training needs.

Both charities made the comments in their evidence to the House
of Commons work and pensions committee’s inquiry into how to assist
people with disabilities into work.

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