The objective of this qualitative study was to understand the impact of the roll out of Universal Credit (UC) from the perspectives of claimants and staff supporting them in North East England. The findings add considerable detail to emerging evidence of the deleterious effects of UC on vulnerable claimants’ health and wellbeing. Our evidence suggests that UC is undermining vulnerable claimants’ mental health, increasing the risk of poverty, hardship, destitution and suicidality. Major, evidence-informed revisions are required to improve the design and implementation of UC to prevent further adverse effects before large numbers of people move on to UC, as planned by the UK government.
Authors: M. Cheetham, S. Moffatt, M. Addison, A. Wiseman
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