Exploring the impact of welfare reform on the lives of disabled people

Exploring the impact of welfare reform on the lives of disabled people, a qualitative study

What is the study about?

Disability benefits have changed in recent years.
This includes changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA), and the introduction of Universal Credit (UC).
Changes include new assessments, eligibility criteria, and the amount of support available.
This research is about listening to and learning from the experiences of disabled people and people living mental health and fluctuating conditions.
We would like to hear your experience of benefits assessments, eligibility and rates of awards.
We would also like to understand how changes to disability benefits have affected your everyday life, your ability to access work, and your participation in family and community life.
Who is conducting the research?
The research is conducted by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the University of Glasgow.
The research team includes disabled and non-disabled researchers, all of whom have experience of inclusive disability research.

Can you take part?

Yes, if you are a disabled person or someone living with a long term
physical or mental health condition, and have experience of either
PIP, ESA, or Universal Credit.
You need to be over 18 years old and be able to provide informed
If you would like to take part, please read this information leaflet,
and make contact with the research team (details at the end of this

Do you have to take part?

No. You do not have to take part in the research and your support
and entitlements will not be affected if you decline.
What would taking part involve?
If you agree to take part, a researcher will contact you to arrange an

The interview will focus on your experience of disability benefits, and
whether or not the support you receive enables you to live the life
you want to lead.

Interviews will usually take place by telephone, but we can arrange a
face-to-face interview if you prefer.
Interviews will take about one hour and will be audio recorded.

We will transcribe the audio recording.

The transcript of your interview will be anonymised, meaning we will
remove all personally identifying information (such as any names or
places you may mention).

If you need extra personal assistance to take part in a face-to-face
interview, we will meet these costs.

If you need a British Sign Language interpretation to take part in an
interview, we will meet these costs.

As a token of our appreciation, we will offer you a £20 in non-cash
voucher for taking part.

You may stop the interview at any time and withdraw from the study
whenever you like. You may withdraw your interview from the study
at any time.

What will happen to my information?

The audio recording of your interview will be destroyed at the end of
the project (December 2018).
We will keep the transcript of your interview for ten years, after
which time it will be destroyed.
Your anonymised interview may be used for publications both in
print and online.

We will not pass your personal information to any external agency or

What are the risks and benefits of taking part?
The risks and benefits of taking part are small.

Disability benefits can be a difficult topic and some people may
become upset during interviews. If this happens, we will give you as
much time as you need and let you decide whether or not you wish
to continue.

We will also provide you with information about how to access
information and support.

If during interviews we become aware of actions which pose a
significant risk of physical or mental harm to you or other people, we
may take action to minimise this risk. This may include informing
relevant authorities, but we will discuss these issues with you and tell
you about any action we take.

Who funds the research?

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) is funding this research. The
DBC are a national consortium of over 80 disability charities working
towards a fairer benefits system.

What will happen after the research ends?

The UEA and the University of Glasgow will produce a report for the
DBC. The DBC will use this report to shape policy and public opinion.
The UEA and University of Glasgow will publish findings in academic

How can I take part?

If you would like to take part, contact Tom Porter at the University of
East Anglia. Email: t.porter@uea.ac.uk Telephone: 01603 597 689.

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