Under stress? The experiences of benefit claimants during the pandemic

Phoebe Arslanagic-Wakefield

August 2021

Many people have had to lean on the social security system during the pandemic, some for the first time — the number of people claiming Universal Credit increased by 98% between January 2020 to June 2021 to six million.

As part of Bright Blue’s ongoing project examining the inequalities of home working during the Covid-19 pandemic, we investigated differences in the experiences of benefit claimants and the rest of the public in the first year of the pandemic.

Our analysis uncovers two types of experience during the pandemic where significant differences between benefit claimants and the rest of the public emerge: financial and relational.

Read the analysis