Welfare At A Social Distance - Claimants Experiences Report
5th March 2021
Welfare at a (Social) Distance is a major national research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of UK Research and Innovation's rapid response to COVID-19.
The benefits system is crucial to supporting people during, and after, the COVID-19 crisis. With a growing number of new claimants, it faces two challenges.
Firstly, we need to ensure people quickly get the money they need. Secondly, we also need to make sure that people are helped to quickly return to work or supported further if unable to work.
In this project, we provide vital information on how we are meeting these challenges and, where the system is struggling.
Claimants' Experiences Report
Claimants' experiences of the social security system during the first wave of COVID-19PROJECT REPORT FEBRUARY 2021Welfare at a (Social) Distance is a major national research project investigating the benefits system during the COVID-19 pandemic, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of UK Research and Innovation's rapid response to COVID-19.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYCOVID-19 arrived in the UK early in March 2020. By 23rd March 2020, the UK experienced the first national lockdown. As businesses and livelihoods stalled, an unprecedented number of applications were made for Universal Credit (UC). Drawing on data from the most comprehensive national study examining working-age benefits — i.e. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and Universal Credit (UC) — during the pandemic, this report provides an understanding of the experiences of benefit claimants during the first wave of COVID-19.
Read the full report HERE