Social security, including Universal Credit and the wider tax and benefit system, play an important role in providing support for people when they need it and tackling poverty and inequality.
The introduction of Universal Credit brings together a number of in-work and out of work benefits in an effort to simplify the system and extend support to progress for those in low paid work. However, its introduction coincided with a long freeze in welfare which has reduced the generosity of benefits, and there have been concerns about some of its rules and operation in practice, including the amount of time people wait before receiving their benefits.
The social security system should provide people with the support that they need and help protect people from poverty.
Social security should help people to enter work, to stay in work, and to progress in work, as well as providing security and a decent standard of life for those who cannot work.
We evaluate the impact of the social security system on people and explore how best to ensure high quality and timely support that gives people security and opportunity.
We evaluated the impact of localised support for claimants moving on to Universal Credit.
We are exploring how Universal Credit claimants and others on low pay can be supported to progress and increase their income.