Automating Universal Credit


In the UK, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) uses automated systems for Universal Credit (UC), the country's largest social security payment, to determine eligibility, calculate monthly benefits and detect fraud. Unique to UC, automation determines monthly pay based on a complex set of means-testing variables and data linkages with other departments. What are the policy rationales behind UC’s system? How do claimants experience the monthly means-tested payment? And how does the system shape the way DWP carries out its welfare policies? This project contributes to our understandings of digital welfare broadly, exploring how claimants experience these systems and can inform their technical design.

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