Researchers and a group of universal credit claimants in Northern Ireland have teamed up to create a guide to the benefit. Ulster University, which worked with the University of York, said it was the UK’s first claimant-led guide to universal credit.
The experiences of the claimants are detailed in the online document. One of the claimants said she hoped the “go-to” would stop people getting as stressed as she did.
The guide has been officially launched just as furlough – which protected millions of jobs during the pandemic – and a £20 boost to universal credit are about to end.
It also comes amid a backdrop of rising energy and food prices.
The idea for the guide came from a research project looking at the experiences of universal credit in Northern Ireland, led by Ruth Patrick from the University of York and Mark Simpson from Ulster University.
Through this project, UC:Us was born – a group of universal credit claimants living in Northern Ireland, who met up in a series of workshops to share their experiences.
One of the main findings from the research project was that participants found the benefit confusing and did not know where they could find accessible information.