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Fear of the brown envelope : exploring welfare reform with long-term sickness benefits recipients.

Garthwaite, K. (2014) 'Fear of the brown envelope : exploring welfare reform with long-term sickness benefits recipients.', Social policy and administration., 48 (7). pp. 782-798.


This article presents qualitative data taken from in-depth interviews with 25 long-term sickness benefits recipients in the north east of England, UK. A key theme emerging from the research is the importance of listening to the narratives of long-term sick and disabled benefits recipients, particularly in relation to the formation of policy responses and in terms of practice. The findings also illustrate how stigma associated with claiming benefits can deter people from accessing the support they need, leading to under-claiming and the risk of amplified financial strain and hardship. Further, the importance of evidence that emerges from research which focuses upon the lived experiences of sickness benefits recipients to provide evidence in the framing of disability and welfare policy is crucial. Lastly, the article discusses how the narratives presented have implications for social policy and practice, alongside the potential implications for sick and disabled people themselves.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Welfare reform, Sickness benefits, Narrative, Disability, Discourse, Language.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Garthwaite, K. (2014), Fear of the Brown Envelope: Exploring Welfare Reform with Long-Term Sickness Benefits Recipients. Social Policy and Administration, 48 (7): 782-798, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:16 October 2014
Date of first online publication:December 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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