This research project will explore the experiences of LGBTQ+ people accessing welfare benefits and engaging with the welfare state in Great Britain. It has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation and will run from January 2022 to July 2023.

Legal rights for LGBTQ+ people in the UK have transformed over the last three decades. However, the legacy of legal and social discrimination continues to impact LGBTQ+ people, including in their access to state-provided and individual welfare, which has typically been designed around the heterosexual nuclear family. COVID-19 massively impacted the UK economy and left people in greater need of welfare support, resulting in widespread administrative problems. Research has explored the impact on women, people with disabilities, and BAME individuals, but there is a dearth of research conducted on the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals.

The research team will make use of longitudinal studies and cross-sectional statistical analysis of British datasets to provide new insights into LGBTQ+ experiences during the first stage of research. During the second stage, new qualitative data will be collected from across the UK to provide greater insight into the patterns found during the initial phase of work. Completion of the research will help the project reach its five aims:

  1. Research and analyse the experiences of LGBT+ people when accessing the benefits system in the UK.
  2. Provide evidence on the causes of welfare inequalities amongst LGBTQ+ people, including the interaction between state welfare and private assets.
  3. Inform policy and raise awareness with accessible policy briefings and webinars.
  4. Add to the academic literature on this under-researched area, with a focus on social policy, sociology, and economics.
  5. Advance methodological understanding in the social science through the innovative use of methods when analysing small minority groups and pioneering the use of existing survey datasets to research LGBTQ+ experiences.

The research team will be providing research updates on their website throughout the life of the project. The website will also host the main report, technical report and policy briefs for organisations supporting LGBTQ+ people. Working in collaboration with activist and support organisations, a series of short video guides will be made to reach the public and other stakeholder groups. These videos will provide explanations of experiences, how to access support, and reduce prejudices.

The project has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation. Visit

Theme by the University of Stirling