This is the last in a series of regular briefings, Mind the Gaps, which highlight some of the gaps in support that exist for children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence of these gaps is drawn from our Early Warning System (EWS) which collects case studies from frontline practitioners working directly with families on the problems they are seeing with the social security system.
In this final edition, we look back at the top issues raised in the series over the past six months. Although some issues have been resolved with quick policy fixes, it is apparent that the vast majority of issues raised are long-standing problems affecting people accessing social security. These issues, still unresolved, are now affecting people in far greater numbers as more people turn to the social security system to get by.
This briefing covers:
- People who need financial support being locked out of the social security system
- Common problems encountered by UC claimants
- Childcare costs
- Debt and deductions
- Fraud investigations
- Sanctions and conditionality
- Moving to UC and becoming worse off
- The benefit cap
- Issues affecting ill and disabled claimants