A new report has found that around half a million people who were eligible for the benefit during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic did not claim it.
This includes a quarter of a million (220,000) people who thought they were eligible for Universal Credit but didn’t want to claim it with 59% stating the perceived hassle of applying and the challenge of figuring out if they were eligible the contributing factor to not applying. A further sizeable minority (27%) didn’t claim Universal Credit because of stigma around social security.
The Government’s mismanagement of the pandemic response has left the UK with soaring unemployment and the worst recession of any major economy. The blame for that lies with Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, not with workers or businesses.
Over the last year, many people have lost their jobs or seen their incomes fall, and no-one should feel embarrassed or guilty about needing some extra support. Everyone who is entitled to claim Universal Credit should do so. And, as we come out of lockdown, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak must do much more to create job opportunities for all those who have been pushed out of work during the pandemic.