Welfare at a (social) distance: Accessing social security and employment support during COVID-19 and its aftermath

David Robertshaw, K Summers, L Scullion, Daniel Edmiston, B B Geiger, A Gibbons, J Ingold, R de Vries, D Young

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Abstract

Welfare at a (Social) Distance is a longitudinal research project examining experiences of social security and employment support in the context of COVID-19. It focuses both on existing claimants and people who have encountered the system for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. The project comprises (i) a three-stage claimant survey of 4,000 recent UC claimants and 4,000 pre-existing UC/ESA/JSA claimants (using YouGov’s online panel), (ii) qualitative case studies of local ecosystems of support for working-age benefit recipients (in Leeds, Newham, Salford and Thanet), and (iii) longitudinal qualitative research with recipients of working-age benefits who were interviewed (twice during 2020/21) about their experiences of the social security system during the COVID-19 pandemic. This chapter draws upon research conducted during the ‘first spike’ of COVID-19 (June–September 2020), with approximately 40 participants who were either living with children in their household, or young adults who had ‘boomeranged’ back into their parents’ home during the pandemic. The chapter will explore experiences of social security and employment support during the pandemic, focusing upon people’s knowledge of the system, experiences of the application process and remote support, and the adequacy of the income that they received.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOVID-19 Collaborations
Place of PublicationBristol
Chapter2
Pages30-43
ISBN (Electronic)978- 1- 4473- 6449- 8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022

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