Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Welfare Reform and Mental Health


Under a Welfare Reform Bill introduced to Parliament in February 2011, the UK Government announced proposals for reforms to the entire structure of the benefits system. This represented the biggest overhaul to the benefits system for very many years. The government aims were to simplify the benefits system, make it less costly to administer and to increase incentives to seek work.

The Bill became law in 2012.  Many of the changes introduced by the Welfare Reform Act 2012 came into effect on 1  April 2013.

Briefing on Welfare Reform

The College has concerns about the impact of these changes on people with mental health problems and those with learning disabilities as they are amongst the most vulnerable members of society. We wish to see a fair benefits system that does not disadvantage people with mental health problems. Our welfare system must protect and support people particularly when they are at their most vulnerable. It should also empower them to lead the lives they wish to lead.


The College has monitored the governments welfare reform proposals by providing expert knowledge and advice.  I doing so we have liaised with other disability charities in the Disability Benefits Consortium.


Key changes from 1 April 2013

·         Universal Credit

·         Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

·         Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

·         Benefit Cap

·         Bedroom Tax

·         Council Tax

·         Benefit uprating

·         Legal Aid



 

What's New: 

1.    Providing Clinical Evidence  for the Work Capability Assessment (WCA)

The Royal College of Psychiatrists have produced guidance for clinicians providing accurate medical evidence for the WCA.


 

2.    Judicial Review and Work Capability Assessment (WCA)

In May 2013 a Judicial Review ruled that people with mental health problems are put at “substantial disadvantage” through the WCA.  The DWP appealed against the ruling, but on December 4th 2013 the Court of Appeal dismissed the government’s appeal, so the Judicial Review will proceed.

 

 

3.    Litchfield Review of Work Capability Assessment (WCA)

On 12 December 2013 the Department for Work and Pensions published its 4th independent review of the WCA, conducted by Dr Paul Litchfield.

 

 

4.    New report on welfare advice for people with mental health problems

On 3 December 2013 the Centre for Mental Health launched their new report on “Welfare advice for people who use mental health services. Developing the business case”

 

 

5.   Rethink publishes new Benefits Pack – Benefits Update. How the Changes will affect you

 

6.     DWP Response to the Disability Benefits Consortium report on PIP Assessment Providers

 

7.     Globally youth unemployment nears crisis peak

A UN agency, the International Labour Organisation, reports that global youth unemployment has risen to near its crisis peak and predicted it will keep rising over the next five years. The report Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013 reports a rate of unemployment of 12.6% in people aged 15-24 years.


We have also responded to other consultations

 

 

For more information contact Masood Khan