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Benefits, work, and the economy

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru

Just looking for advice and thoughts about a situation I have found difficult.

I was unwell at university and graduated in 2007. To cut a long story short I've been trying to recover from my mental health problems whilst struggling with the benefits system. I've been trying to get better and generally doing well, but obviously the economic circumstances haven't been ideal.

I think I would have been much better on a health-related benefit, but have been refused many times. I have a tribunal in late January for Disability Living Allowance.

At present I find the Department for Work and Pensions to be an extremely poor organisation and government policy is not helping many vulnerably people.

I believe that the Department for Work and Pensions has employed a company called Atos to investigate people on health-related benefits. The reality is they are just kicking everyone off the health-related benefits which will make people more ill.

I've found it difficult to cope with this recently and have been unwell - I have recently got a job, but it's insecure employment and I'm trying to go from Job-seeker's allowance to Disability Living Allowance/Employment Support Allowance. Everything is changing in the benefits world - the government are targeting the poor to pay for the mistakes of the rich.

What is the best thing to do at the moment ? Try and go for a health-related benefit when the whole system is changing or just take my chances and try and get out of the benefits system altogether. There is no middle ground ie a way of helping people from being ill to getting better and onto work.

I'd have been happy with the middle ground ie support to get better and move into work, but just feel I and many others have been fighting for a long time against a corrupt system.


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I just thought I'd reply to give you some moral support. I get DLA and at the moment Income Support due to mental ill health.

    Income support is stopping and I have to apply for ESA and I will probably have to go through one of those medicals. I'm very worried about the medical as I've heard bad things about it.

    I think if you aren't well enough to commit to working then being in benefits and doing say voluntary work that is flexible (which is what I do) can be really good for people. There are advantages to being in paid work but if it is stressful and making you more ill then it isn't worth it (some people however get iller when they don''t have the structure of the working day).

    Good luck for the DLA tribunal :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there mark1984

    This sounds like a really tough situation to be in. It is also uncertain as you have to wait some time for tribunals and medicals to assess your entitlement to benefits.

    I think that only you can decide which route to take but you could also take both.

    Whilst your benefits entitlement is being assessed you can look for work. It's obvious that you have been doing this as you have recently secured a job. Don't worry about it not being secure at the moment, as it's great experience to put on your CV! You can continue to find something more permanent. Hopefully you will find the right job for you.

    I understand that you feel the Government are not helping people in your situation get into work.

    However, there is help out there.

    If you haven't done so already then you may wish to look at theSite's pages on Benefits and Tax Advice.

    Also take a look at Rethink's website. They are a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness.

    They have pages about Work Options and Applying for Jobs.
    They also have an Employment Service across England. You can search for one near you using the link.

    If all this is a bit overwhelming, you can call Rethink on 0300 5000 927 and they can hopefully provide you with more information or point you in the right direction.

    Let me know if this was helpful or if you would like any further information.

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