Chronic ill-health is now recognised as a major public health and social welfare issue, with significant new policy initiatives in recent months. This report presents findings from a detailed new investigation into the experiences of individuals living with long-term ill-health and their families. New in-depth qualitative material is combined with secondary analyses of national datasets to examine the ways in which long-term ill-health impacts upon different dimensions of poverty. The report explores the links between long-term ill-health and three inter-related areas: employment, welfare benefits and social participation and social support. It covers an ethnically diverse sample in order to explore, though not assume, the relevance of ethnicity for the experience and consequences of long-term ill-health and identifies ways in which current UK health and social policy might better serve the needs of people with long-term health conditions. This accessible report is of importance to policy-makers and practitioners working across the public health and social welfare arenas. The findings are of relevance to a wide range of programme areas including: access to employment, welfare benefits, chronic illness self-management (Expert Patients Programmes) and ethnic minority disadvantage. Researchers and students will also find the report of interest.