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Welfare system changes are having devastating impact on those with mental health problems

(5 Posts)
Yukana Wed 01-Jun-11 14:25:48

First time poster here, so excuse me if you feel this isn't in the right place.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/31/incapacity-benefit-cuts-mental-health?CMP=twt_fd

Sorry the title is long, I really didn't know what else to write.

After reading this article it filled me with worry and grief. I'm also someone who suffers from depression and anxiety amongst other problems, and even close members of family don't seem the understand the affect it can have on me and others in similar situations. My mother has severe bipolar disorder, and I believe when she received notice of changes to her benefits, it caused her to become more ill and stressed. Even now, she takes double her original medication and has regular doctor visits, but is the most ill our family have seen her since a massive chain of episodes seven years ago.

I wondered if anyone who suffers from mental health problems or knows anyone who does, have been feeling or seeing the effects of fear of reassessment?

I also wondered what people thought of this article in general.

GypsyMoth Wed 01-Jun-11 15:16:55

it will weed out the true cheats tho...

and it says that there is an advisor working with dwp to find ways to make asesment fairer/easier on those with MH issues.

Yukana Wed 01-Jun-11 15:21:06

I see what you mean, but the figures for benefit fraud are actually pretty low, aren't they? That and it's pretty distressing having the possibility of getting one of those re-assessment letters, so it's making some people's mental health worse.

If the advisor is from ATOS then I don't think I can have much hope.

sunshineandbooks Wed 01-Jun-11 22:21:22

They stopped my aunt's incapacity benefit in january. We are still waiting for it to go to tribunal. This despite the fact that meanwhile she has been awarded DLA first time round at middle rate because she has learning difficulties. They said she could walk and answer questions which meant she was obviously ok to work (while failing to assess if her answers actually showed any real comprehension - she has autism and answers things very literally or says what she thinks is the right thing as she doesn't want anyone to be cross with her).

My friend has bi-polar like your mum. Unless she's having a manic episode she would come across very well indeed at interview and undoubtedly fail. However, the pressure of having any sort of job would be enough to set in motion a downward spiral. Her psychiatrist is adamant she should not be working but I doubt the assessment people will care about that. She is starting to get very worried and this is already affecting her mental health. I really worry for her. sad

magpienchips Thu 02-Jun-11 10:42:05

I'm worried too yukana and Like you I suffer from anxiety Disorder and knowing that I am due to be reassessed next month, I am starting to worry.
But I understand why the government feels it has to make cuts to benefits...I just feel uneasy with the way they are going about it.
In 2007 I was Wrongly Assessed to be fit for work despite suffering from chronic anxiety and depression for decades.
so I decided to appeal and I won the case.
I'm not saying I want to live on handouts for the rest of my life...I just want to be taken seriously When I am assessed and not written off as another shyster looking for a free ride.
and sadly that seems to be the way the present government views those of us with mental health and physical problems.

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