Getting benefits

I have two sons – twins age 24 ( 25yrs in July this year).

They are both suffering from mental health conditions ( 1. OCD/ depression 2. GAD/ depression ) and one son also with long term ill health ( diabetes T1 - insulin dependent) – diagnosed at various times – over last 7 yrs. – i.e. young adulthood.

One son receives PIP ( although up for review ) and UC - but is not engaging in finding work due to OCD ; the other nothing - as was away at unie but has not coped with his health and is withdrawing . They now both live at home with us - parents in Croydon.

Both treated with medication – under psychiatrist ; received Community Mental Health Treatment under crisis - but conditions stabilised/flatlined to now seemingly not at risk – but this can change at a flick ; but both unable to live independently ( i.e. take care of themselves fully) - hence both withdrawn from unie. - and seemingly are incapable of working ( they are unable to get up at home and do much at home for themselves or others).

With our own retirement not far away – I and my husband are 63 - we are obviously very concerned at our sons futures. And in this the financial issues – which we have been carrying significantly in supporting them/ getting right care etc – having had to eat into our pension savings ( I am self-employed and my husband has only just returned to work at 60 having been a stay at home Dad) .

Our sons are reluctant to tackle the harsh realities of living i.e. getting money/ working etc …; they don’t like to talk about it – when we try it usually ends up in them retreating to their beds due to their anxieties/ illnesses and a few days of melt down …. And don’t like asking for state benefits. But the reality is they need it. Because as parents we can’t continue to support them.

I am therefore asking please for:

  • Advice as to how I can guide them to get themselves sorted re benefits - I don’t know where to start – those benefits they do get were sorted by a support team they got when under Community Mental Health Services.
  • How can get them help when they are both no longer registered with Community Mental Health Services - (good in one way as they are deemed much better - but they are now stuck - in no man’s land – not going forward and certainly not able to live independently whether they live with us or not)
  • As parents we seem not entitled to any benefits. Or are we? We had a carers assessment some years back and that resulted in zero help.

Many thanks

Hi Karen,

Re benefits - you can start here Turn2us Benefits Calculator

to see what your sons and yourselves are able to claim.

I don’t have experience of caring for folk with a diagnosed mental illness, however S does suffer with anxiety at times due to his autism. Others on here have though and they often talk about not enabling the person to stay as they are - otherwise they will become stuck and you with them. Start small, meals to be eaten with the family - dishes to be washed/ stacked in dishwasher. Only buy necessities, so anything else they want/need they have to source and pay for themselves. Invent reasons to get them out of the house even to the postbox and back.

Others will be along to advise.

Youngminds and Mind organisations will be helpful too.


Whatever their mental health problems are, I can’t help thinking that to some extent you’ve enabled them to become used to someone else taking all the responsibility for having a roof over their heads and putting food in their mouths.

Time for some “tough love” I’d have thought.