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Social Security Scotland support for people living with schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a complex mental health condition that can affect how a person thinks, feels, and experiences the world around them.

It affects about 1 in every 100 people and for some, schizophrenia will be a life-long condition that will need day-to-day management to treat symptoms.

On National Schizophrenia Awareness Day, we’re urging people living with schizophrenia to check if they are eligible for financial support from Social Security Scotland.

According to the charity Rethink Mental Illness, more than one-in-five people living with schizophrenia will learn to live with the condition with support and monitoring of a primary care professional and go on to live an independent life without further episodes.

To support disabled people to live an independent life, our disability benefits provide extra money to help people that have a disability or long-term health condition, such as schizophrenia, that affects their everyday life.

Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment provide financial support to help with additional costs that disabled people might face. The money can be used as the individual chooses. That could include helping to pay for talking therapies, travelling to a support group, or for hobbies that help someone manage their condition, such as sewing, drawing or football.

These disability benefits are administered by Social Security Scotland and replace the Department for Work and Pensions’ Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children, DLA and Personal Independence Payment. People already getting disability benefits from DWP will see their award transfer automatically and they do not need to apply separately.

Aille McGinty is a registered mental health nurse and Education and Development Lead at Social Security Scotland. Allie is one of our expert health and social care practitioners who can provide extra support to our case managers when they are making decisions on disability payment applications.

Allie said: “Mental health is complex so I work with our colleagues on understanding these conditions and to share best practice.

“We recognise that we need to have a good understanding and background knowledge of various conditions, including mental health conditions like schizophrenia where symptoms can impact people’s everyday life in different ways, to help our teams processing applications to make the right decision and make a difference to people’s lives.

“This could be by simply having the money to take a taxi instead of public transport to community groups resources that promote wellbeing. This gives people the flexibility that they normally wouldn’t be able to afford.”

Anyone who thinks they may be eligible for disability benefits can find out more here.

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