Thousands of people on middle-incomes risk “falling through the cracks” after seeing their wages slashed during the pandemic and then being rejected for benefits, a new report has warned.
Researchers at Kent and Salford universities found 220,000 people were rejected from claiming benefits during the pandemic, many of whom had seen sharp falls in income due to Covid-19 and were struggling financially, but were deemed to be earning too much to receive universal credit.
The report, which was funded by the Health Foundation, found some had poor mental health and were going hungry because they couldn’t afford food.
Support The Big Issue and our vendors by signing up for a subscription
Ben Baumberg Geiger, a senior lecturer at the University of Kent and lead author of the report, told the Big Issue: “We found that 15 per cent of respondents had skipped meals in the past two weeks because they couldn’t afford food.
“I don’t think many people would have expected that to be the case among this group who are thought of as not needing benefits.”