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The paper analyzes perceived causes of poverty in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Hungary, one of the most disadvantaged areas of the country. Data collection was carried out in the second half of 2020 using consensus theory and the methods of systematic data collection. The aim of the research is to discover whether support for explanations which blame structural conditions is dominant in the public perception of poverty during the pandemic. From the research discussed it is clear that structural conditions are not dominant and that the poor are often seen as being themselves responsible for their unfavourable situation. The COVID-19 pandemic is not associated with a high support for the social type of lay explanations.