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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2007): Welfare state - UK

Charity or entitlement? Generational habitus and the welfare state among older people in North-East England

S. Moffatt and P. Higgs

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 41, 2007, p. 449-464

The non-uptake of means-tested benefits has left many older citizens in the UK in poverty. This article is based on a qualitative study which examined the impact of a welfare rights service targeted on older people in North-East England. It focuses on identifying barriers to uptake by exploring the views of older people who did and did not qualify for additional benefits and examines how their views of entitlement have been conditioned by their age and social conditions in North-East England. Barriers to uptake included lack of knowledge of the benefits system, the perceived stigma of claiming, feelings of being demeaned by the system, and a strong ethic of self-reliance.

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