Israeli Adults’ Non-take-up of Social Benefits: A Study Using the Socio-ecological Model

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Even though welfare states aim to address citizens’ social care needs, disparities in benefit distribution persist, leading to “non-take-up.” Non-take-up is the phenomenon in which people who may be eligible for a benefit fail to apply for it or forgo it after applying. Based on a qualitative approach, this study explores reasons for the non-take-up of social-security benefits and services in a convenience sample of 34 Israeli adults. The findings show that the reasons for non-take-up of social benefits and services may be divided into several interrelated levels. Four of the levels identified were identical to those suggested by the socio-ecological model: intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, and cultural, with multiple subthemes included in most of them. The policy level, which is integral to the theoretical model, does not emerge in this study. Theoretically, the findings show that the economic “rational trade-off model” does not suffice to explain the non-take-up phenomenon. Future research should expand the study of non-take-up of social benefits and services to potential, rather than actual, claimants of particular benefits or services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Social care
  • social needs
  • social security
  • welfare rights
  • welfare services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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