Making ends meet each month can be stressful - particularly when we're struggling with our wellbeing.

If you have a mental health illness, or you have money problems that are having an impact on your mental health, there are welfare benefits you may be able to claim to help you.

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with living costs.

You may be able to get it if you are on a low income, not in work or can’t work because of a mental health condition.

The payment is made up of a standard allowance plus any extra amounts that apply to you, for example if you have a disability or health condition that prevents you from working or you provide care for at least 35 hours a week for a severely disabled person (who receives a disability-related benefit).

How to apply

You apply for Universal Credit online.

For more information on how to apply, fill in your form and prepare for an assessment visit the Mental Health & Money Advice service.

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people under the age of 65, with a long-term physical or mental health condition.

The PIP is made up of two parts – daily living and mobility. Each of these parts is paid at either a standard or enhanced rate.

The amount of PIP you get depends on the number of points awarded to you by the Department of Work and Pensions for both the daily living and mobility PIP test.

The PIP is usually awarded for a fixed period of time but there are certain situations when an ongoing payment may be approved. The PIP is paid into your account every four weeks. If you’re living with a terminal illness it will be paid weekly.

How to apply

There are three steps to applying for PIP:

  1. Telephone the Department of Work and Pensions on 0800 917 2222 or Textphone 0800 917 7777
  2. Fill in the claim form they send you
  3. Go to a face-to-face assessment

Someone can make the call on your behalf but you will need to be with them as you will be asked for your:

  • contact details
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • bank or building society account details
  • the name, address and telephone number of your GP or health worker
  • the dates and addresses of any time you have spent abroad, in a care home or hospital.

For help in filling in your claim form visit Citizens Advice.

If you have a mental health illness or disability that affects your ability to work, you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

There are two types of ESA. Those based on your National Insurance contribution (‘new style’ ESA, contribution-based ESA) and one based on your income (income-related ESA).

The ‘new style’ ESA depends upon whether you have paid enough National Insurance when working. If you’re not eligible for the ‘new style’ ESA, you may be able to claim income-related ESA.  The contribution-based ESA is the same as ‘new style’ but you also need to be receiving the Severe Disability Premium.

The ESA replaces Incapacity Benefit, although some people may still receive it. The ESA also replaces Severe Disablement Allowance.

How to apply

To claim ‘new style’ ESA, telephone the Universal Credit Full Service helpline on 0800 328 5644 (choose option 2, then option 6).

To claim income-related ESA or contribution-based ESA, telephone Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688.

Someone can make the call on your behalf but you will need to be with them as you will be asked for your:

  • contact details
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • bank or building society account details
  • the name, address and telephone number of your GP or health worker
  • the dates and addresses of any time you have spent abroad, in a care home or hospital.

Statutory Sick Pay isn’t a welfare benefit.

It is something that an employer pays an employee if they are too unwell to work.

If you’re suffering from a mental health illness, you may be entitled to council tax exemption or support.

You may be exempt if you have a ‘severe mental impairment’. Your GP or psychiatrist will need to sign a medical certificate that says you are severely mentally impaired. You will also need to be claiming a welfare benefit such as a PIP. Your care co-ordinator or social worker may be able to help you with your claim.

There are three schemes that provide support with paying your council tax: The Council Tax Reduction scheme, the Discount Scheme and The Disability Reduction Scheme.

How to apply

To apply for a reduction or support, contact North East Lincolnshire Council.

If you are a full-time carer, you can claim Carer’s Allowance (CA).

You qualify for CA if you:

  • care for someone more than 35 hours a week
  • are 16 or over
  • are not in full-time education
  • live in the UK and are not subject to immigration control
  • earn less than £128 per week (after tax, National Insurance and half of any pension contributions)
  • care for someone who gets Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment (standard or enhanced), Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance.

Carer’s Allowance claims can be backdated for up to three months.

How to apply

You can apply for Carer’s Allowance online or telephone the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0345 608 4321 to ask for a form.

Citizens Advice: As well as help with claiming benefits, Citizens Advice can assist you if you are experiencing problems with your claim.

Mental Health & Money Advice: Provides clear, practical advice and support for people experiencing issues with mental health and money. 

Gov.uk: Provides an overview of available benefits and how to claim.