Can I claim benefits for depression in 2022: a guide

8 December 2022 by Robin - 8 minutes of reading time

can i claim benefits if i leave my job due to depression

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to depression? If you were previously employed (or still are) and suffer from depression, you may claim benefits. This Your Benefits article will walk you through all you need to know.

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to depression?

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to depression?

You may have depression or another mental health problem. Indeed, then, you may qualify for some benefits. In fact, they may allow you to do different things.

First, they may help you to pay for daily living costs. Indeed, this could include things such as food and rent. Furthermore, they may help you find work again. This is the case for benefits like Universal Credit.

You may live in England. If this is the case, here is a list of some benefits that you could claim for depression:

You may want to resign because of bad work conditions. Always check first if there are other alternatives. Indeed, otherwise, your or your partner’s benefits could be impacted.

For example, you may earn less Universal Credit for 3 months. This is if the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sanctions you. They will do so if they believe your resignation was not supported by a good enough reason. However, you could also claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for depression.

The standard allowance of Universal Credit usually pays this much. However, resigning without a good reason might entitle you for less:

Universal Credit standard allowance rates in 2022
Your personal circumstance Standard allowance rate (per month)
You have a partner, and at least one of you is 25 years or older £509.91 (for the couple)
You have a partner, and you are both younger than 25 years old £403.93 (for the couple)
You are younger than 25 years old and single £257.33
You are 25 years or older and single £324.84

You may not have another job lined up after the one that you leave. Then, you may claim benefits for depression right after you leave your job. More specifically, on and after the date when you know you will stop your work. However, you need a good reason for doing so. Otherwise, you could get less money with benefits for 3 months.

Can I leave my work if I don’t feel safe there?

You may not feel safe at your current work. Indeed, you may then choose to resign. It is better to resign than staying in a job where you are unsure about your safety and mental well being.

Indeed, the following may be true for you. You are under the impression that:

  • You are harassed or bullied by your employer or colleagues;
  • Going to work is an activity that makes you feel afraid;
  • You feel that your safety is at risk when you go to work.
Then, you must tell your employer in writing that you are resigning. However, note that this infers that you have proof for the reason of your resignation. Indeed, this would be in the case that you take your employer to court, or vice versa.

You may have told your employer about your resignation. However, you need to then send your employer a letter or email confirming what you said. Indeed, it is very important that you have a written trace of your resignation.

You may also feel that your employer is making you resign. For example, they may tell you that they will dismiss you if you do not do so. However, this qualifies as a dismissal. Furthermore, your employer may bully you or give you a bad treatment in order to make sure that you resign. Then, this may count as constructive dismissal.

Can I be helped when applying for these benefits?

If you have depression, you may earn the benefits listed previously. However, the application process may be hard. Note that you may apply online or find the forms you need on the Gov.UK website. 

However, you may be able to get additional help. Indeed, in most cases, application to benefits can be done in alternative formate. For example, you may be able to ask for an application form as an audio CD or in large print. To do this, contact the office that is responsible for paying your benefit; either Jobcentre Plus, or another office.

Note that applications and certain benefits often have time limits or deadlines. Indeed, you may not go over a certain time threshold to submit your application. If you have depression, this may be disconcerting. However, there is a solution. If you believe that you need to more time to complete an application, contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

You may be able to claim hardship payment for essential costs. Indeed, this is regardless if your reason for leaving your job was considered justified or not. Furthermore, it is a payment you do not have to pay back.

How can I resign due to depression?

Make sure you are sure that you want to resign first. Then, if you want to do so, you may go ahead with the procedure.

First, make sure you know how many days of notice you need to give your employer. Indeed, you may find this either in the staff handbook or in your contract. However, you may want to give less notice.

If you want to give your employer less notice before you resign, you may. However, remember to talk to them. Face to face is always preferable. Furthermore, remind them that you leaving early means that they do not have to pay you once you leave. Also note that you should still be paid for the work you have done.

Second, you need to tell your employer that you want to resign in writing. You do not have to tell them about your mental health problem. However, if your mental health condition is affected by things happening at work, you may then tell them.

You should indicate the following in your written email or letter:

  • The number of days of notice you are giving your employer;
  • The exact date of your last day of work.

You do not have to write your reason for leaving in your resignation letter. However, you may do so. Indeed, this is the case if your resignation is following something said or done by your employer, for example. Then, this will be proof if you decide to take legal action.

Lastly, you will need to check your last payslip. Indeed, make sure that you were paid everything you are entitled to. This includes commissions and bonuses. If they have not paid you everything, tell your employer.

What if my employer does not want to pay me everything I am due?

What if my employer does not want to pay me everything I am due?

You must check that you were paid everything you were due before you leave your job. Indeed, if you were not, talk with your employer.

Your employer may not want to pay you what you are due. Indeed, it is important to always prioritize dialogue with your employer first, but it may not always work.

If talking to your employer does not work, you may raise a grievance. Indeed, this is if you did not leave your work yet, and is something your employer is not able to ignore. The grievance procedures may be indicated in your employer’s handbook.

However, there may not be a grievance procedure for you to follow. Otherwise, it could be that you left your work already. In this case, write a letter to your employer. The following information should be indicated:

  • The exact date on which you left your workplace;
  • How much you believe your employer still needs to pay you (include how that amount was calculated);
  • When you expect to receive payments;
  • Proof for the claims that you made (these should be copies of proof).

What if my depression was keeping me from doing my work?

You might have been sanctioned because of not having a good enough reason to have left your work. In this case, you may challenge the sanction. Indeed, this is if you believe that your mental health kept you from being able to work.

In order to challenge a sanction, you need to know that your condition affected you at the same time as when you worked. Evidence can be a letter written by a counsellor, doctor or even friend or family member. You may also use a hospital record. Lastly, you may use a copy of a prescription that you take.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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