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Not knowing early on how much their income, benefits and housing costs could be affected can create considerable anxiety and distress for people who have mental health problems. It can make them feel unsafe and be a powerful barrier to them not taking up opportunities. Many of the recent reforms to the welfare benefits system rules are not necessarily known or understood by many of the people who receive benefits. 

 

Specialist advice and information about benefits and income before someone makes any decisions about taking up employment and education opportunities, needs to be part of the support on offer and not left to an individual to ask about. This is especially important if people have limited numeracy and/or financial literacy skills. Local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Jobcentre Plus advisors can do ‘better off in work calculations’ for people and discuss the implications with them.

 

Find contact details for local CABs at: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk > Find my bureau > enter postcode.  Young people can contact Connexions Direct via telephone or online services: https://www2.cxdirect.com/home.htm  080 800 13219.

People can now also do their own ‘better off in work calculation’ online at http://www.direct.gov.uk >employment > disabled people > financial support.

 

 

 
Information correct as of 01-May-2011

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