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Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form: a complete guide

Posted 06 November 2019

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The debt and mental health evidence form lets you make your lenders aware of any mental health issues you’re having.

But we know that many people are unsure how the process works, who has to complete the form and what to do with it once it is complete. This blog will answer all those questions.

It’s well known that mental health can have an impact on your finances. To help you, we’ve compiled everything into one document that will save you from fiddling around trying to figure out what to do.

What is the debt and mental evidence form (DMHEF)?

The Debt and Mental Evidence Form is what it sounds like. It’s a way for you to provide evidence to the lenders you owe money to about your mental health issues.

By making your lenders aware of any mental health issues you have, it allows them to change the way they treat you. This can have a few positive impacts:

  • • They may allow you more time to make repayments
  • • Your interest and charges may be frozen
  • • In some cases some of your debt may be written off
  • • You have peace of mind knowing your lenders are aware that you are vulnerable

 

mental-health

Do you need to submit a DMHEF?

Before you go about submitting a DMHEF, make sure you need to take the effort to complete one. In many cases you will have been made aware of the Debt and Mental Health Form via two routes:

  • • A debt advice provider who is helping you
  • • A lender who has asked you to provide evidence

 

Both debt advice providers and creditors are likely to have their own processes. You should follow their instructions, rather than following the advice given in this blog. Just use the information here as a general guide.

How do you submit a DMHEF to your lenders?

You don’t need to complete the Debt and Mental Evidence Form yourself. It should be filled in by your GP or another health or social care professional. The form states that you should choose one of the following professionals:

  • • A social worker
  • • Nurse
  • • General Practitioner (GP)
  • • Psychiatrist
  • • Mental health therapist
  • • Psychologist
  • • Another qualified professional

 

Once you know who you’ll ask to complete the form for you, you need to provide them with a few things. One of those things is a Consent Form. The professional may refuse to complete the form unless you have provided them with a completed Consent Form. Here is your checklist of what you should send them:

  • • a signed copy of the Consent Form
  • • a Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form (blank, not filled in)
  • • an envelope with your name, address and stamp on it.

 

The health or social professional has asked for a fee to complete the DMHEF

There was a campaign to stop professionals charging a fee for this service. In February 2019 the government announced that this practice should stop. However, there have still been cases of professionals requesting a fee. If the professional you’ve approached is asking for payment, try explaining the following:

  • • How a completed DMHEF form could improve your mental health by improving the relationship between you and your creditors
  • • The fact you need to write to creditors shows you are having financial difficulties and so can’t afford to pay a fee

 

I need to send a DMHEF to more than one lender

The DMHEF asks you to fill in the name of the lender you’d like to make aware of your mental health issues, and your reference number. But what if you want to make several of your lenders aware?

When your completed DMHEF is returned to you, make copies to send to you other lenders. It’s a good idea to cover or black out the details of the lender for whom you completed the DMHEF.

You should also include a cover letter briefly explaining why you’re sending the DMHEF. Make sure the letter includes:

  • • Your name
  • • Your reference number with that lender
  • • The reason you’re sending the DMHEF
  • • Any other information the lender may need to better assist you

 

DMHEF and debt advice providers

One of the ways of making your creditors aware of you money and mental health issues is through a debt advice provider. As a debt advice provider ourselves, we have a dedicated team whose sole purpose is to look after these issues.

We’ll help you to make your lenders aware of your vulnerability. In certain circumstances, we may be able to negotiate with your lenders on your behalf to help you achieve one of the following outcomes, although these can never been guaranteed:

Indefinite hold - this is where a debt remains in place but the lender agrees not to chase you for it.

Breathing space - this is where a lender agrees not to chase you for repayments for a defined time period.

Debt write off - this is where a lender agrees to write off what you owe the, so you are no longer required to pay the debt and it is removed from your credit file.

If you’re having any worries about your debt and mental health, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.