Benefit to all?

Think tank: Bright Blue

Author(s): Anvar Sarygulov

June 14, 2021

This report from UK think tank Bright Blue looks at the financial experience of Universal Credit claimants during the pandemic.

This original analysis compares both the actual and perceived financial situations of those who do not claim Universal Credit (‘non-UC’), those who were claiming Universal Credit in February 2020 (‘existing UC’), and those who began to claim Universal Credit in March 2020 or later (‘new UC’), at five points: before the pandemic in 2018-19, May 2020, July 2020, November 2020 and March 2021. This is done using data from the Understanding Society Covid-19 Study and the 2018-19 UK Household Longitudinal Study. This enables an assessment of the extent of change in the actual and perceived financial situations during the pandemic, which reveals the troubling extent of the financial difficulties faced by existing and new Universal Credit claimants relative to the rest of the public during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.