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Worried Sick: The Experience of Debt Problems and their Relationship with Health, Illness and Disability

  • Nigel Balmer (a1), Pascoe Pleasence (a1), Alexy Buck (a1) and Heather C. Walker (a1)

This paper examines social and demographic predictors of debt problems, whether debt problems tend to occur in combination with other problems and which people tend to experience long- rather than short-term debt. Data were extracted from a survey of 5,611 adults' experiences of civil justice problems, throughout England and Wales. Being in receipt of benefits and long-term illness or disability were the strongest predictors of debt, with long-term ill or disabled respondents also being more susceptible to long-term debt. We highlight the importance of advice interventions that recognise the link between civil justice problems and health, illness or disability.

Corresponding author
Correspondence: Dr. Nigel Balmer, Legal Services Research Centre, Legal Services Commission, 85 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8TX. Email:
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Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
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