Universal Credit could be a lifeline in Northern Ireland, but it must be designed with people who use it

Ruth Patrick, Mark Simpson

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Universal Credit (UC) as first introduced to Northern Ireland in September 2017, replacing six legacy benefits for working-age adults. UC operates differently in Northern Ireland when compared to England, Wales and Scotland. Typically, it is paid twice each month with housing payments going directly to landlords. In addition, there are provisions for supplementary payments to mitigate the impact of some recent social security reforms such as the benefit cap and opportunities to apply for discretionary funds.
This study provides insights into how claimants experience UC in Northern Ireland, what lessons the rest of the UK can learn from devolved-level innovations, and how the benefit might develop in Northern Ireland. The findings and policy recommendations presented are grounded in the expertise of recipients of UC.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork
PublisherJoseph Rowntree Foundation
Number of pages53
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 911581 80 2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020


  • Universal Credit
  • social security
  • Devolution
  • Northern ireland
  • Participatory research
  • co-production
  • welfare state

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  • Activities

    • 2 Organising a conference, workshop, ...
    • 2 Oral presentation
    • 1 Participating in a conference, workshop, ...
    • 1 Invited talk

    Universal credit in Northern Ireland: stakeholder engagement event

    Grainne Mc Keever (Chair), , Mark Simpson (Organiser), & Ruth Patrick (Organiser)

    12 Feb 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...

    Social Policy Association annual conference

    Mark Simpson (Participant), & Rita Griffiths (Organiser)

    8 Jul 201910 Jul 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

    Universal credit in Northern Ireland: some provisional findings

    Mark Simpson (Speaker), & Ruth Patrick (Speaker)

    9 Jul 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


    Research Output

    • 2 Other contribution
    • 1 Other chapter contribution
    • 1 Article
    • 1 Working paper

    Reflections on Northern Ireland’s mirror image approach to devolved social security

    Simpson, M., 16 Sep 2020, Social security in Greater Manchester. 4 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

    Open Access
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