Adverse effects of social security on disabled people and their families in the uk: iatrogenic outcomes of quasi-clinical administration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis many countries embarked on a prolonged period of public sector ‘austerity’ which for some included seeking dramatic reductions in social security spending. It is in this context that the research investigates the negative impacts of interactions with the UK disability benefits system on the lives of disabled people. The research uses in-depth semi-structured interviews and a focus group to study the experiences of 49 people who either had an impairment or chronic health concern and/or were family carers for an adult or child with these concerns. The analysis identified four aggregate dimensions evidenced by the transcript data: harmful health and well-being consequences, negative financial and resource impacts, perverse employment effects and wider social disability concerns. These dimensions highlight how interactions with ‘social security’ policy in the contemporary context can have harmful, iatrogenic consequences for disabled people and their families.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-227
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Disability Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2019


  • social security, iatorgenesis, disability, family