Universal credit: Research and reports
This section of the site contains research and reports that relate to Universal Credit and the stopping tax credits process.
DWP Universal Credit Statistics
DWP research and reports
Government Reports and research papers
HMRC research and reports
Social Security Advisory Committee reports
External research and reports
DWP publish a range of statistics on Universal Credit via the Gov.UK website
- The Future Cohort Study: understanding Universal Credit’s future in-work claimant group, July 2021
- Variation in the universal credit sanction rate between jobcentres from August 2017 to August 2019, October 2020
- Consent in universal credit, September 2020
- Universal Credit declarations (claims) and advances: management information, June 2020
- Universal Credit: in-work progression randomised controlled trial, October 2019
- Conversion of support for mortgage interest from a benefit to a loan, May 2018
- Universal Credit managed migration and reduced housing benefit backdating period, March 2018
- Universal Credit: understanding how it influences employment behaviour, September 2017
- Universal Credit test and learn evaluation - families, September 2017
- Self-employment working tax credits claimant survey and follow-up research, September 2017
- Support for mortgage interest, attitudes towards taking the support as a loan, August 2017
- The banking needs of Universal Credit claimants, the potential role of budgeting accounts: published in September 2016, this report explores whether budgeting accounts could support some universal credit claimants transition to a single monthly payment.
- DWP – Universal Credit at work: This is a progress report on the implementation of Universal Credit, including the case for change and the levels by which the impact of Universal Credit will be measured. Importantly, this document also sets out the strategy for roll-out and the phased approach.
- DWP – UC Pathfinder evaluation report: This report provides the main findings from the evaluation of the earliest stages of Universal Credit roll-out, known as Pathfinder. The evaluation aimed to learn lessons to feed in directly to improvements to UC operations on the ground and was also used to inform design of the end-state digital (full) UC service.
- Universal Credit: experimental official statistics to February 2014: These statistics are for the period April 2013 to 28 Feb 2014. They cover total live caseload and starts on Universal Credit, with breakdowns by Jobcentre Plus office, local authority, parliamentary constituency, gender, age band and duration.
- Universal Credit pathfinder statistics: Apr 2013 to 31 Oct 2013: These statistics are for the pathfinder areas for the period April 2013 to 31 October 2013. They cover total live caseload and starts on Universal Credit in the pathfinder areas, with breakdowns by Jobcentre Plus office, local authority, parliamentary constituency, gender, age band and duration.
- Universal Credit claimants in Pathfinder areas – experimental official statistics to September 2013: This summary contains the first release of data from the Universal Credit Pathfinder offices on the benefit’s starters and caseload to September 2013.
- Interim results from the Universal Credit pathfinder evaluation claimant survey, wave 1, conducted between August 2013 and October 2013: The report is the first of a series. The telephone survey of claimants making new claims to Universal Credit was conducted between August 2013 and October 2013. Further surveys will be undertaken with these claimants during different stages of their claimant journey, making this a longitudinal survey. The aim is to gain evidence on a broad range of factors, including experiences of claiming Universal Credit, attitudes and behaviours and outcomes. As part of this research simultaneous surveys were conducted with claimants making new claims to Jobseekers Allowance, allowing comparisons between the two claimant groups to be made.
- DWP research - Self-employment, tax credits and the move to Universal Credit: DWP commissioned this research to help understand more about self-employed tax credit claimants and how Universal Credit will impact them. The research involved 45 in depth interviews with self-employed tax credit claimants in 3 areas of the UK during August and September 2012. It was conducted prior to the amending regulations in April 2013 and the results have been used to inform those amendments and DWP’s approach to guidance for claimants and staff.
- Universal Credit evaluation framework: This evaluation framework is the first step in the development of the full evaluation programme of Universal Credit. It sets out DWP’s broad intentions for the evaluation, highlights the key aims and objectives and considers possible analytical approaches to areas including the development of a theory of change, impact measurement and the use of existing data sources and evidence bases to add to a long term, comprehensive narrative for Universal Credit. It also outlines early thoughts on developing a ‘test and learn’ framework within DWP. With provisions within the Welfare Reform Act providing the opportunity to test aspects of the Universal Credit offer, DWP is looking to incorporate a series of small scale policy and delivery experiments within the broader programme of evaluation.
- Welfare Reform and Work Act: impact assessment for the benefit cap, August 2016
- Impact assessment for 'Universal Credit: welfare that works' setting out plans to reform the welfare system by creating Universal Credit: Impact assessment for 'Universal Credit: welfare that works' setting out plans to reform the welfare system by creating Universal Credit
- Equality impact assessment about introducing budgeting advances for Universal Credit under the Welfare Reform Act 2012: The reformed system of Budgeting Advances will not provide the same outcome for all applicants, as some will be able to apply for larger amounts than others. due to differing family compositions. This equality impact assessment looks at the profile of those people who currently access Budgeting Loans as this will form the basis of those eligible for Budgeting Advance although Universal Credit is likely to widen the group who can access this provision.
- WPC Universal Credit: the self-employed, May 2018
- WPC Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews, February 2018
- Office for Budget Responsibility, Welfare Trends report, January 2018
- WPC Universal Credit: the six week wait, October 2017
- WPC publish written evidence in response to its inquiry into the benefit cap
- WPC letter to Minister about UC concerns
- WPC report on self-employment and the gig economy MIF
- Universal Credit changes from April 2016 - Briefing paper: This paper provides an introduction to Universal Credit and analyses the impact of these proposed changes
- Government response to SSAC Occasional Paper: Government response to SSAC Occasional Paper 15: Universal Credit: priorities for action.
- Government’s response to the Work & Pensions Select Committee on the introduction of Universal Credit: The Government’s response to the report from the Work & Pensions Committee which detailed recommendations for six key areas of Universal Credit. The Committee’s recommendations for each topic area are set out in this paper, along with the Government’s response.
- Universal Credit implementation: meeting the needs of vulnerable claimants: The 3rd report of the 2012-13 session of the House of Commons Work & Pensions Select Committee, detailing areas of concern and recommendations for six key areas of Universal Credit.
- Perceptions of welfare reform and Universal Credit: Findings of a qualitative study of the views of claimants, staff, employers and the wider public about Universal Credit
- No 252 – Technical Report, Panel Study of tax credit customers: Technical report describing the research methods used in the 2012 wave of the Panel Study of Tax Credits Customers
- No. 251 – Panel Study of tax credit customers: This report covers findings from the latest wave of the Panel Study, focusing on two areas of strategic priority to HMRC: reducing error and fraud, and the transition to Universal Credit
- No 189 - Information needs of customers during their transition out of the tax credits system | Appendices to No 189
- SSAC Occasional paper 19 - in-work progression and Universal Credit, March 2018
- Government Response to SSAC Occasional paper 19, March 2018
- SSAC's scrutiny of Universal Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments, Savings and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2018
- Surplus Earnings, SSAC report and Government statement on the Universal Credits (Miscellaneous Amendments, Savings and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2018
- Report by the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) on the impact of Universal Credit on 'passported' benefits
- Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) report on Universal Credit and related regulations and the government response
- Correspondence between the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions discussing the entitlement of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals to Universal Credit
- The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions reply to SSAC on the Universal Credit (EEA Jobseekers’) Amendment regulations 2015
- NAO report, Rolling out Universal Credit (15 June 2018): In this report into the value for money of the project, the NAO conclude that the project is not value for money now, and that its future value for money is unproven.
- Universal Credit and modern employment - research reports by Citizens Advice (April 2018)
- Early Warning System report - Universal Credit Full Service Roll Out: CPAG report what the early warning system cases tell us
- NAO Universal Credit Progress Update - November 2014: A progress update reports from NAO which concludes that it is too early to determine if the Department for Work & Pensions will achieve value for money in its implementation of the Universal Credit programme.
- NAO – Universal Credit – Early Progress: The National Audit Office has concluded that the Department for Work and Pensions has not achieved value for money in its early implementation of Universal Credit.
- Universal Credit - will it work?: A report published by the TUC and CPAG.
- Implementing Universal Credit – will the reforms improve the service for users?: Report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, concerned that Universal Credit could trap people in poverty.
- Holes in the safety net – The impact of Universal Credit on disabled people and their families
- Research report 1 – the impact of Universal Credit on families with disabled children
- Research report 2 – the impact on disabled people of the abolition of the severe disability premium within Universal Credit
- Research report 3 – the impact of Universal Credit on working disabled people
NB - The 4 reports above combine towards the joint report from Citizens Advice, The Children’s Society and Disability Rights UK on the findings of an inquiry led by Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson which found that although many people may be better off under universal credit, several key groups would lose out financially under the new system and up to half a million disabled people could lose out under universal credit once it is fully implemented.
Last reviewed/updated 1 July 2022