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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Benefits and Employment: How Problem Drug Users Experience Welfare and Routes into Work
Author(s): Bauld, Linda
McKell, Jennifer
Carroll, Colin
Hay, Gordon
Smith, Katherine
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Issue Date: Oct-2012
Date Deposited: 22-Feb-2013
Citation: Bauld L, McKell J, Carroll C, Hay G & Smith K (2012) Benefits and Employment: How Problem Drug Users Experience Welfare and Routes into Work. Journal of Social Policy, 41 (4), pp. 751-768.
Abstract: Increasing the conditionality of welfare benefits is a growing trend in many developed countries, particularly in relation to some groups who may be perceived as undeserving of state support. Problem drug users (PDUs) are one such group, and in the UK most PDUs do not work and a high proportion claim benefits. Facilitating the movement of these individuals into employment is a policy aim, because it is believed to improve the circumstances of drug users (and promote future abstinence) and because moving all groups off benefits and into work is a primary purpose of recent welfare reforms. Yet little is known about the interactions of PDUs with the UK benefits system or how recent moves to increase the conditionality of benefits are likely to affect this vulnerable group. This paper begins to address this gap by exploring the perceptions that PDUs and relevant frontline staff have of drug users' interactions with the welfare system and the factors affecting their prospects for employment. The findings suggest some aspects of recent welfare reforms, notably the simplification of benefits, may help PDUs interact with the system. However, the data also reinforce claims that the increased use of sanctions is unlikely to succeed in improving employment rates amongst this group without intensive support and demand-side interventions.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S004727941200030X
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Journal of Social Policy / Volume 41 / Issue 04 / October 2012, pp 751-768 Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012. The original publication is available at

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