At the edge of the safety net: unsuccessful benefits claims at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

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Publication date

October 15, 2020


This new Health Foundation-funded report looks at the 290,000 people who started making a claim for benefits, but who were unsuccessful – a group largely missed from previous research. It finds that many had seen sharp falls in income, were struggling financially, and had poor mental health. Some were even going hungry because they couldn’t afford food.

Unsuccessful claims were largely because people were not eligible for benefits (about 220,000 people). The numbers of people who had started making a claim but failed to complete it was relatively small (40,000) – likely to be testament to the changes that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) made near the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.



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