Document Abstract

Helping hand? Improving Universal Credit

Explores the impact of the unique and key design features of Universal Credit (UC) during three critical stages of the claimant experience: accessing UC; managing on UC; and progressing on UC. Draws on a literature review of national and local evidence; consultations with academics, politicians, civil servants, and front-line volunteers and professionals; two informal focus groups with representatives of national and local charities; and forty semi-structured interviews with current UC claimants. Examines how easily claimants are able to access UC, looking at: initially registering for, and subsequently accessing, UC online; and receiving the initial UC award after a minimum five-week wait. Considers claimants’ experiences of managing on UC, reflecting on: the single payment; monthly payment in arrears; and payment of the housing element of UC to all tenants. Assesses how easily claimants are able to progress whilst in receipt of UC, in terms of: the taper rate, work allowances and the removal of hours-based thresholds; the role of work coaches; increased conditionality; and increased sanctioning. Concludes that most claimants are coping with and adapting to UC, but that there is a significant minority of claimants that are struggling, and recommends new policies to address some of the challenges identified.


This document is not available to download directly from Research Online. Wherever possible a web link has been included to access the document via the publisherÂ’s website - please check below. If not, the document can be obtained directly from the source organisation or publisher. Skills Development Scotland cannot guarantee that the organisation will not charge for the document.

Web link

View more documents

Other page options

Publication information

Shorthouse, Ryan; Lampier, Sam; Sarygulov, Anvar
Ref No:
Bright Blue

Download Adobe Reader

Notes for Idox Members

Get the latest updates from Skills Development Scotland