Mind surveyed 2,894 people earlier this year on the subject of benefits and sanctions. 90 per cent of people who had received out-of-work benefits and been sanctioned said that this experience had negatively affected their mental health. 89 per cent of those threatened with sanctions saying this had worsened their mental health.
Although people receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), have been through a fit-for-work test and been found unable to work, people placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) are required to do certain things in order to receive this financial support. If they fail to do these, they can be ‘sanctioned’ - have their benefits cut or stopped entirely for a certain length of time.
“These statistics provide further evidence to show how the benefits system is not just failing people with mental health problems, but actively working against them. [...] Treating people with suspicion and stopping their financial support when they’re unable to do the things that are asked of them is cruel and ineffective. Instead we want to see more voluntary, tailored support which works with people to identify their unique skills, ambitions and barriers to getting and staying in work."
You can read the full article on these findings on the Mind website. If you would like to help Herefordshire Mind make sure that no one in the county has to face a mental health problem alone, you can get involved locally or support us by making a donation.