Why are we doing this research?
Within Knowsley, the percentage of unemployed and economically inactive residents is greater than that of the general Great British population. Of particular note, almost 40% of Knowsley residents are classed as long-term sick, and many of these individuals will either be in need of or in receipt of at least one benefit type.
It is known that mental health problems are often linked to increased difficulty managing finances: nationally, over 2 out of 3 clients seeking advice for multiple debts also have concurrent mental health problems. Clients with mental health problems are also more likely to seek advice on benefit and tax credit issues, particularly with specific benefits such as ESA and PIP for which they are 3 times more likely to seek help. They sometimes present more complex needs than an average client, including requiring longer appointments times, requiring home visits, or being resident in an institution where an outreach advisor is necessary.
The overall purpose of this research is to improve our support for clients with mental health problems by helping them to better navigate the benefit system and receive access to the support they need.
What will the research look at?
This research will look at the impact of the benefit claiming process on clients with mental health problems. Once the issues have been established, we will be looking at finding ways to support our clients with mental health problems more efficiently.
Our findings so far
We have carried out two surveys on mental health and benefits: one with our clients, and one with our staff . We will be publishing the results shortly, watch this space!
How to keep up to date?
If you are interested in keeping up with our research and campaigns, follow us on twitter @knowsleycab1