Income support

Research looking at aspects of income support policies.

These research reports and documents have been released as part of a programme of work to develop a research archive and improve access to historic research previously not released by the Ministry. We will potentially be adding to this page over time.

Impact of the future focus changes to sickness benefit medical certificates: technical report

2013 | ISBN 978-0-995124O-0-4

This report evaluates the impact of introducing a requirement for an additional medical certificate eight weeks after grant for those on a Sickness Benefit.

The eight-week medical certificate made no difference to the time clients spent on a main benefit.

Benefits for widows and women alone – what is happening internationally?

2012 | ISBN 978-0-9951240-2-8

This evidence brief looks at what benefits are available in various countries for people whose spouse or partner has died.

This evidence brief looks at what benefits are available in various countries for people whose spouse or partner has died.

In OECD countries benefits or payments that provide support for a spouse or partner following a bereavement are common, in either a one-off payment or an on-going payment.

Tightening entry criteria to benefits for disabled people

2012 | ISBN 978-0-9951240-3-5

This brief examines international evidence about tightening eligibility criteria for incapacity benefits, and the impact of these policies.

It found that changes to eligibility criteria may have some effect in reducing the number of people on incapacity benefits but that it may also lead to substitution onto other benefits, rather than into employment.

Substance abuse and misuse and links with welfare receipt

2012 | ISBN 978-0-9951240-4-2

This brief examines the international evidence on benefit eligibility for people with substance abuse or misuse problems, and the impact of these policies.

Substance misuse and dependence is associated with welfare receipt in many countries but determining the size of the problem is difficult.

Substance use is a weak predictor of employment success among welfare recipients. Generally, European countries and Australia provide people with substance problems with access to benefits, whereas the United States restricts access.

What impact are digital services having on welfare-and income-related benefit take-up?

2014 | ISBN 978-0-9951241-4-1

This evidence brief reviews international literature to identify what impact digital services have on welfare- income-related benefit take-up.

The review found no literature or evidence explicitly linking the introduction of digital services to welfare- income-related benefit take-up.

The use of benefit bans

2012 | ISBN 978-0-9951244-0-0

This brief provides an overview of international evidence on banning access to welfare benefits following a conviction for welfare fraud.

Other instances where benefit bans are imposed are also included. A benefit ban may be temporary or permanent.

It found that benefit bans were criticised for increased stigmatisation of welfare recipients, exacerbating poverty-related risks and being a costly process.

Benefit fraud initiatives

2012 | ISBN 978-0-9951244-1-7

This brief examines domestic and international anti-benefit fraud initiatives, and issues and considerations identified when addressing benefit fraud.

It focuses on initiatives that may be implemented or expanded as part of the Welfare Reform Package. Data-matching between government agencies and anti-fraud investigations is common.

Data-matching programmes are cost-effective in New Zealand and Australia. It is difficult to determine the impact of individual anti-fraud initiatives.

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