Research Consultant in disability and social security
Stef Benstead is an independent researcher in disability and social policy. She has worked with Ekklesia and the Spartacus Network and is currently working with the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project and Church Action on Poverty.
Stef has a 1st from the University of Cambridge but had to leave a PhD at the same university after becoming severely ill with the genetic connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Since leaving her PhD, Stef has been using her interest in research to investigate the welfare system, particularly for people with chronic illness and disability, to show not just where and why it is going wrong but how to do things better.
In 2019 the Centre published Stef's book Second Class Citizens: The treatment of disabled people in austerity Britain describing the impact of austerity, neoliberal ideology and welfare myths on sick and disabled people.