You may be able to seek benefits if you have a mental health problem. Benefits can help you afford the things you need, like food, water and housing.

You can find information about all benefits and welfare payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Citizen’s Advice.

Or visit the Leeds Money Information Centre for free, confidential and non-judgemental benefits advice and information about Universal Credit.

How to prepare

When applying for benefits, you will need information about your income and outgoings, as well as your savings and your health status. This information includes:

  • Your bank details
  • Information on any savings that you have
  • Information about your rent or mortgage
  • Primary health care professional’s contact details
  • Information about any mental health issues or physical illnesses that you have
  • Your national insurance number
  • Personal identification details such as a passport or driving licence

Sometimes, navigating the benefits system can cause feelings of anxiety or frustration. This could be because it’s the first time you’ve applied or you’re unsure of the process. Before picking up the phone or applying for benefits, take some deep breaths and remind yourself of things you are good at and the challenges you’ve overcome.

When speaking to staff about your benefits options, try to be honest about any mental health conditions you may have so that they can provide the right support and advice. Benefits advisors should treat you with respect and help you with your application. If you’re unhappy with the service you’ve received, you can raise it with the Department for Work and Pensions.

Other resources you may find helpful

These contain information that can help you to take control of your debt, reduce your outgoings and access the support you need, while also managing a mental health problem: