Depression in 2022: the benefits you may be entitled to

8 December 2022 by Robin - 8 minutes of reading time

dla for depression I suffer from depression and anxiety, what benefits can I earn? Does my mental health condition entitle me to certain financial aids? This Your-Benefits article will walk you through everything you need to know about depression, anxiety and relevant financial benefits.

What benefits can I claim for depression?

If you live with depression, you might be eligible for a number of benefits. These will aid in covering costs that might arise from living with depression. They can also provide certain advantages for moving around more effectively.  

If you suffer from depression or anxiety, asking for help or benefits may seem like a daunting task. There are also misconceptions about benefits, especially for people living with a mental health problem.

Your-Benefits offers a financial aid simulator to allow you to see how much you are entitled to. Additionally, we offer a service to help you with all your administrative tasks. Do not hesitate to reach out to our advisers if you need help.

What is depression?

Unlike some common misconceptions, depression is not just a feeling of unhappiness for a couple of days. Most people go through certain periods where they might feel down on their luck. Depression, however, can make you feel persistently sad for multiple weeks or even months.

Depression is not trivial or a sign of weakness. It is not something that you can simply “snap out of”, or easily get rid of by “thinking positively”. However, which the right treatment and support, you can make a full recovery from depression.

The symptoms of depression include sustained feelings of sadness, suicidal thoughts, loss of interest in certain activities, and more. If you suffer from any of these, consult your doctor. You may be able to earn benefits following your doctor’s diagnosis.

What is anxiety?

Everyone has feelings of anxiety at one point or another. You may have been anxious at some point about a school assignment, important meeting at work or a job interview. Feelings of anxiety during these times is perfectly normal. Some people, however, experience constant feelings of anxiety in their daily lives.

Some of these people might be experiencing conditions like panic disorder, phobias, social phobia or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

However, they might also be affected by generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). This is a long term disorder that makes one feel anxious about a multitude of events. Most people with GAD are very often stressed. They might also have a tough time remembering the last time that they have not felt stressed.

Can I get DLA for depression? 

There are three main benefits that people with depression or anxiety may be entitled to. These are if you are living with depression or anxiety and need help regularly. You may only claim one of these at a time.

If you are under 16 years old, you may be eligible to receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA). If you are between 16 years old and State Pension age, you might be eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Finally, if you are above State Pension age, you might then be eligible to receive Attendance Allowance (AA).

You can use a Pension age calculator to see if you are above or below pension age.

Disability benefits eligibility by age in 2022
Age Benefit
From birth until 16 years old Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
From 16 years old until State Pension age Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
State Pension age or older Attendance Allowance (AA)
What benefits can I claim for depression?

If your mental health is affecting your ability to work, you might be eligible to receive one of the following:

Am I eligible to receive benefits?

You might be eligible to claim one or more of the benefits listed above. You could get PIP for depression or Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

To qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you must be between 16 and Pension age. Your mental health must impact certain activities. These activities include things you may have to do daily. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Preparing and following itineraries;
  • Interacting with people, in or outside social context;
  • Making money decisions.

To qualify for the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), your child must be under 16 years old. They must require greater help than compared to a non disabled child of the same age. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Needing extra help and supervision when outside the home;
  • Having difficulty socializing with children of the same age;
  • Needing emotional support, either during the day or the night.

You may qualify for Attendance Allowance (AA) because of your mental health. First, you need to be over State Pension age. Second, you need help during the day or the night. This may be because you require supervision to stay safe.

Can I get Universal Credit for depression?

If your depression or anxiety is impacting your ability to work, you may be eligible for two different benefits.

First, you may qualify for Universal Credit. There are 3 groups that you may qualify if you have depression or anxiety:

  • Fit for work: you are entitled to the regular amount of Universal Credit that you may receive. However, you may also need to look and apply for work while receiving Universal Credit;
  • Limited Capability for Work (LCW): you are entitled to the normal amount of Universal Credit (UC). However, you will not be required to look and apply for work. You may have to go to appointments with your Work Coach. You may also have to attend training courses;
  • Limited Capability for Work-Related Activity (LCWRA): you will be able to receive more than just the normal payments of Universal Credit. You will also not have any work requirements.

You may earn ‘new style’ ESA if you have made enough National Insurance contributions for the past 2 to 3 years. This is sometimes called contributions-based ESA.

Note that you may not be able to receive certain benefits at the same time. For example, you may not receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). However, you may receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Universal Credit (UC).

Although you may receive certain benefits at the same time, what will limit the amount of money you can receive in total is the benefit cap. The benefit cap is a limit on the total number of benefits that you are able to earn. You may not receive more through benefits than the benefit cap allows.

How do I apply for these benefits?

First, you’re doing great! Looking up how to apply for benefits is a main step in being able to receive benefits. Second, remember to take your time. There is often a form to fill out and send for your application.

Remember to take your time. If the application process is taking longer than anticipated, you may be able to ask the Department for Work and Pensions for an extension.

How to claim DLA, PIP or AA

You may apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA) through the appropriate form for each. There are a few things to think about when filling those forms.

Do you need to use an aid when fulfilling the affected task(s)? Indeed, they may cause anxiety. Do you need someone’s help to fulfill them? Can you complete it/them reliably? If you are unable to complete your application in time, no worries. You may ask the Department of Work and Pensions for an extension.

You will also need evidence. These evidences will go with your application to show how your mental health affects you. These evidences and documents can be provided by:

Can I get DLA for depression? 

  • A community nurse, General Practitioner or psychiatrist;
  • A social worker;
  • Care plans;
  • A journal or diary that describes your day;
  • Family or friends supporting you.

How to claim Universal Credit ESA

You may apply for Universal Credit (UC) because your depression or anxiety hinders your ability to work. In this case, there are 4 stages:

  1. Submitting a Universal Credit claim;
  2. Sending fit notes for a period of 4 weeks, which show you were unable to work;
  3. Filling out form UC50, also known as the work capability form;
  4. Doing a Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

You might also be asked certain things after sending your claim for Universal Credit. For example, your Work Coach might ask you to do some of the following:

  • Go to meetings;
  • Go on selected training courses;
  • Look or apply for work.
These are part of your “claimant commitment“. Doing these is necessary once your apply. Your commitments depend on the group you are placed in. You Work Coach has to make sure that what they ask of you is within the limits of what you are able to reasonably do.

If you believe that you are asked to do too much, you may request your claimant commitment to change. You may send a claim to earn Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ‘New style’ ESA is assessed the same way that UC is assessed. However, the following will not impact your claim:

  • Your own savings;
  • Your partner’s savings;
  • Household income (except pensions).

You may claim this benefit in 3 stages:

  1. Sending your claim for ESA;
  2. Filling out form ESA50, also called the work capability form;
  3. Doing a Work Capability Assessment (WCA).
Make sure that you make a copy of your completed claim form and evidence. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will not send back applications and evidence.

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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