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Social Security Benefits

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 211075, tabled on 22 January 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 29 October 2018 to Question 184858, if she will place in the Library a copy of the brief for the quantitative longitudinal research by the National Centre for Social Research into the impact of the Benefit Cap and the qualitative case studies of local authorities.

Answered on

28 January 2019

The Department intends to publish this research in Spring 2019. The research publication will include all topic guides and questionnaires used in the research, and an overview of the original research brief.

The quantitative survey of claimants carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (Natcen), an independent research agency was delivered over two waves, to explore how claimant responses to the cap had changed over time. Wave one was conducted approximately seven months after implementation of the new cap, with 1,900 claimants interviewed. The sample included claimants affected by the cap under both legacy benefit and Universal Credit arrangements, across Great Britain. Wave two was conducted approximately six months later, with over 800 of those same claimants. The survey included questions on the following topics:

  • Awareness of the cap and current cap status
  • Impacts of the cap on employment and employment related behaviour
  • Impacts of the cap on claimants housing and housing related behaviour
  • Awareness and use of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs)
  • Barriers faced by claimants regarding employment and housing changes
  • Broader impacts of the cap (including upon health, relationships and finances)
  • Use of available advice and support services

For the qualitative, case study strand Natcen invited people working at a range of Local Authorities, Jobcentre Plus and local advice and support organisations to take part in research interviews. Local organisations included family support charities, financial charities and credit unions, housing and homelessness support organisations, housing associations, information and advice providing services, women’s charities, food banks and legal charities. The focus of these interviews was on experiences of the introduction of the lower, tiered Benefit Cap and the impacts it had on the services they delivered, and upon claimants affected by the cap. Forty-two interviews were conducted across the six case study areas.