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Ella.x February 19th 2013 12:53 PM

Mental health and disability
I'm filling out some forms to try and get social housing and see if I'm entitles to any benefits. The reason why I'm having to do this is due to my mental health problems (BPD, mood disorder and some sort of anxiety which I don't have a solid diagnosis for yet) are stopping me from working full time. The problems I am facing which directly affect my day to day life are: incredibly low mood, panic attacks, insomnia, dissociation, suicidal ideation, self harm, tearfulness, huge levels of anxiety in any situation that involves leaving my flat.
Based on this information, would you consider me to be a disabled person? The definition in the forms states that "a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial or long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities" I'm worried that if I say yes, they'll think I'm lying, but if I say no, they might not take it seriously when they're assessing me.

Beautiful Disaster February 19th 2013 04:38 PM

Re: Mental health and disability
Hi Ella :)

To me, it seems pretty clear that your mental health problems are affecting your ability to live day to day life, compared to someone without mental health problems. How long have they been affecting your life?

I don't think they will think you're lying for one minute! And with these sorts of things, I'm guessing you have to have evidence? So if you have a letter from someone confirming what you have said, then that should be fine.

Try and remember that these people are there to help and want to help you, even if sometimes it seems like they don't.

Hope this has helped. :)


Ella.x February 19th 2013 04:47 PM

Re: Mental health and disability
Thanks for the reply. They have been affecting my life for a few years, but only stopping me from working full time on and off since a year or so ago. I see a psychiatrist and therapist and care co-ordinator and have put them down on the form for evidence.

Batman. February 19th 2013 05:23 PM

Re: Mental health and disability
Ella, as somebody in a similar situation (mental health issues affecting my ability to work full-time, I'm lucky to have my part-time job where they put up with me), and knowing I'd be able to qualify as a disabled person (because of my mental health impairing my ability to function "normal", in a sense), I voted YES, and believe you have plenty of justification to get Disability assistance. :)

Palmolive February 19th 2013 06:24 PM

Re: Mental health and disability
Are you trying to apply for DLA? If not I suggest you try so. Its made a huge difference to my life. I'm now on Middle rate for care and low rate for mobility. If you aren't entitled to the benefits you apply for, then you won't get them - simple. If you are, you will. And if you disagree with any responses then you can appeal. So there's really nothing to lose. :)

Ella.x February 19th 2013 06:34 PM

Re: Mental health and disability
I wasn't sure if I could since I'm working at the moment and don't really need any care. There's so many different benefits and I'm so confused. I was thinking about income support or ESA. I'm also trying for housing benefit and council tax benefit but again I don't know how I would stand as I work more hours when I can and less when I'm struggling. Do you think the job centre, or the citizens advice bureau would be more help?

Palmolive February 19th 2013 06:45 PM

Re: Mental health and disability
You can apply for DLA regardless of whether you're in employment. I work 35 hours a week but I get nearly 300 pounds a month but my support worker applied for it for me because at the time I couldn't work. You can't apply for ESA because that is for people who are not working due to a health problems. I advise you to go to your local job center. They seriously know everything and if they don't, they'll put you in touch with people who can help. :)

Ella.x February 19th 2013 06:50 PM

Re: Mental health and disability
thanks for the advice. I'll get to the job centre asap

i_like_black February 19th 2013 11:02 PM

Re: Mental health and disability
With specific regards to your poll (not the British income support system, I know nothing about that), it might be worth asking your doctor. I didn't realise I qualified for disability support - my diagnosis is mood disorder due to a general medical condition and BPD - but my psychiatrist listed me as having disabilities that are "other psychiatric" and "other central nervous system". This means that if my team decide I need something in order to help me stay alive and well, the government pays for it. I think the most common costs covered are a landline and prescription/medication fees.

I am also in a place where I can only work a limited amount due to my tendency to get unwell. The type of financial assistance I receive at the moment actually allows me to work a small amount if I want, which is good.

So anyway, are you disabled? Not in the sense we usually think of the word, but in a way that results in your requiring ongoing financial assistance and mental health support, then definitely.

As Jessie said, there's no harm in applying.

Batman. February 20th 2013 06:09 AM

Re: Mental health and disability
As Jess said above, typically Disability (obviously depending on the nature, but in almost every case with mental health) will let you work a certain amount of hours.

Here, how it works is, you can work X hours a week (I think less than 40..? But for simplifying this, let's say 30). If you work any more than these "30" hours, you will get the difference that you made garnished off of however much you initially qualified for.

So for example, if I were on Disability and getting $400/month, but I picked up some extra shifts and got 32 hours the one week, they'd deduct however much I made in that 2 hours (say $20, for simplicity again) off of my cheque, giving me $380.

I'm not 100% sure on their hours or deductions (as I said, all the numbers I gave in the example were for simplicity in explaining), but it's something to look into.

Ella.x February 21st 2013 12:57 PM

Re: Mental health and disability
thanks for the help everyone. The job centre were completely useless but I phoned the disability benefits adviceline and they said I might be eligible for DLA and working tax credits. Once I have those, I might be able to get housing benefit and council tax benefit. I still feel really guilty about claiming disability benefits since I don't consider myself to be properly disabled as I can work to an extent and I live on my own.

Ella.x February 22nd 2013 07:54 AM

Re: Mental health and disability
Okay, so I've sent off my application for DLA, does anyone know roughly how long they take to process?

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