Social protection and labour market policies for vulnerable groups from a social investment perspective. The case of welfare recipients with mental health needs in England (RE-InVEST working paper series D5.1)

Moth, Rich and Lavalette, Michael (2017) Social protection and labour market policies for vulnerable groups from a social investment perspective. The case of welfare recipients with mental health needs in England (RE-InVEST working paper series D5.1). RE-InVEST HIVA - Research Institute for Work and Society Parkstraat 47 box 5300, 3000 LEUVEN, Belgium, Liverpool: Liverpool Hope University/Leuven: HIVA-KU Leuven. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This study examines the impact of welfare reform on claimants with mental health needs in England, in particular the effects of the recent introduction of two social protection measures: Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Our analysis indicates that reduced access to and adequacy of benefit coverage under these reforms, particularly the elements linked to increased conditionality, have led to diminished levels of social protection for people with mental health needs. We also identify how discriminatory processes in the benefits system have negatively impacted the sense of self- respect and security experienced by claimants. Overall our data suggest that ESA and PIP processes undermine claimants’ subjective wellbeing and exacerbate experiences of mental distress. We therefore propose the term ‘benefits distress’ to describe these forms of suffering that are being institutionally propagated by UK government agencies and the corporations to which state welfare functions are outsourced. The study is part of the wider European RE-InVEST project to investigate the impact of active labour market and social protection policy on marginalised social groups since the financial crisis of 2007.

Item Type: Other
Keywords: welfare reform; mental health; neoliberalism; austerity
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Social Science
Depositing User: Rich Moth
Date Deposited: 03 May 2019 10:44
Last Modified: 03 May 2019 10:44
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2826

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