The conceptualisation and measurement of benefit coverage is muddled with considerable confusion. In this forum contribution, we propose a new consolidated framework for the analysis of benefit coverage. Three sequential steps in measurement are suggested, involving the calculation of coverage rates, eligibility rates and take-up rates in social protection. Each step of the analysis focuses on particular aspects of programme legislation and implementation, and together the new framework will substantially improve the possibilities of research to inform policymaking. We provide an empirical illustration of our approach based on Swedish data, and highlight how our new consolidated framework for analysing benefit coverage provides a reorientation of the research agenda on benefit coverage.