Universal Credit found to worsen mental health problems, according to new study

More people have experienced increase levels of anxiety since the introduction of Universal Credit, a study has found.

The report found that 94% of mental health sufferers experienced increased anxiety after dealing with the new benefits system, with half of them feeling ‘severely anxious’.

Universal Credit has faced much controversy since it arrived in Sheffield in November 2018.

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, a charity think tank that conducts research into the link between mental health and money problems, have published the Benefits Assault Course report that highlights the strain of the new benefit system has on mental health sufferers.

The charity surveyed 450 people with mental health conditions and found that less than 20% felt that their benefits assessor understood the full impact of mental health problems.

They warned that some people are experiencing “serious psychological distress” because of the complex process of transferring onto the new system.

The report has called for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to reform Universal Credit even at this relatively early stage.

Last Friday, Sheffield Trade Union Council led a protest in the city against the new benefits system.

Protesters marched from the Department of Work and Pensions to the Jobcentre on West Street.

Universal Credit is being rolled out throughout the UK with all claimants expected to be on the new system by 2023.