Universal Credit causes mental illness – but won’t get you a new job, study finds

A study of Universal Credit has found that it increases mental illness in claimants while failing to get them into new employment.

The finding should cause huge concern among the two million people who are said to have signed up for the benefit after the Conservative government imposed its coronavirus-prompted lockdown, forcing them to sign onto the benefit when their incomes disappeared.

The study of able-bodied people (those with disabilities have already been shown to suffer adverse effects due to changes in their benefits) found a 6.57 per cent increase in psychological distress.

This led the study’s authors to estimate that an extra 63,674 people suffered psychological distress between 2013 and 2018, as a result of being put on Universal Credit.

They estimated that 21,760 might reach the diagnostic threshold for depression.

They believe that, although the effect sizes identified are moderate, the potential for psychological impact is substantial owing to the widespread national policy implementation.

Levels of distress remained constant for people who were not put on the new benefit.

The study revealed that there was no increase in the transition into employment amongst those on Universal Credit, compared with those who were not – despite this being the key rationale given for its introduction.

The Tory government has commissioned its own evaluation of Universal Credit – but this will focus on labour market outcomes and not assess the effect on health and wellbeing.

Won’t it be interesting to see whether this study finds an improvement in employment?

Source: Universal Credit mental health problems, but not employment

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One Thought to “Universal Credit causes mental illness – but won’t get you a new job, study finds”

  1. Justin

    That will be something they ignore because it was not researched by one there scruffy little hobo’s walking down the street, the same hobo’s that talk about herd mentality, no doubt the not really done a lot minister for suicide will just go looking for some fake news to say that there policies are working and it Is other factors that cause all this, so what is the solution, easy answer cut summer recess to two weeks only and for the rest of the time all Ministers have to spend twenty hours a week doing voluntary work chosen by there constituents to see the issues affecting the local geography and not some little bunch of phots of them donating a couple of tins of beans to a foodbank, real work, real experiences, similar to what volunteers do for nothing.

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