Some 81% believe that benefits are an important safety net to support people when they need help, with 64%, agreeing that benefits paid to those in need are good for wider society.
But 27% of those on benefits keep this secret, according to the findings, rising to 47% of 16 to 24-year-olds.
Some 51% of those who had never been supported by benefits also said they would feel embarrassed to claim.
The survey coincides with the launch of a campaign backed by charities and community groups aimed at countering negative views of people who claim benefits.
The campaign, led by the Children's Society, Crisis, Gingerbread, Macmillan Cancer Support and Mind, has backing from 75 charities, faith groups and community groups.