Universal Credit and the invalidation of mental health problems: claimant and Jobcentre Plus staff experiences

Wright, S. , Robertson, L. and Stewart, A. B. R. (2022) Universal Credit and the invalidation of mental health problems: claimant and Jobcentre Plus staff experiences. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, (doi: 10.1332/175982721X16437383460256) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Moving disabled people ‘off benefits and into work’ has been an explicit aim of work-first welfare reform since 2008, increasingly punitively since 2010. The aim of this article is to demonstrate, for the first time, how Universal Credit (UC) fits with and intensifies that strategy. Empirical data from 28 in-depth interviews with 19 claimants (nine were interviewed twice) and three focus groups with 23 Jobcentre staff show how UC full service applies mainstream job search conditionality to people with mental health problems. Ongoing fear of sanctions, financial hardship, surveillance and social isolation relating to digital design had adverse impacts, including for those without previous mental health problems.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stewart, Dr Alasdair and Wright, Professor Sharon
Authors: Wright, S., Robertson, L., and Stewart, A. B. R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Poverty and Social Justice
Publisher:Policy Press
ISSN:1759-8273
ISSN (Online):1759-8281
Published Online:24 February 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Policy Press
First Published:First published in Journal of Poverty and Social Justice 2022
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
305037How well is Universal Credit supporting people in Glasgow?Sharon WrightJoseph Rowntree Foundation (ROWNTREE)180104HS&PS - Urban Studies