Joseph Rowntree Foundation and BritainThinks report: Learning from Experiences of Universal Credit

‘Participants who were already financially and socially vulnerable, reported that Universal Credit (UC) made them to fall into a cycle of debt and serious hardship that they were now struggling to recover from.’

This is from the March 2018 report (pdf) from BritainThinks, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, on the experiences of people living on Universal Credit. 

The report outlines the experiences of UC. The report finds:

  • The issue that many respondents raised was the length of time it had taken to receive the first payment, with some (especially those with few resources to draw on) claiming that the waiting period had caused them both financial and emotional problems
  • Participants felt that a number of the significant issues they had experienced were related to the process of being moved on to U.niversal Credit and the service they received
  • Further, many participants said that the process of applying for Universal Credit had made them feel degraded and lacking in motivation – they felt staff had been rude and hostile to them in face-to-face meetings and had put unfair demands on them, such as requesting last minute appointments.