In this the second report from CA Merton and Lambeth Research and Campaigns Micro-Volunteering project we focus on how Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is experienced by those affected by mental health.
The experiences of our micro volunteers illustrate that people affected by mental health are disproportionately affected in their eligibility for and access to ESA. Particular challenges include:
- Difficulties accessing clear information about ESA relevant to the impact of their illness or disability
- Confusing application forms which individuals find confusing, lengthy and difficult to complete without support or assistance
- An assessment process which many find intimidating and intrusive, sometimes handled without compassion with the result individuals feel they haven’t been listened to or understood
- Decisions which are difficult to understand, can lead to significant financial hardship with direct impact in terms of debt and housing
- A complicated and daunting appeal process
You can read the summary of the research here.
Thank you to all our amazing micro volunteers who contributed to this report.