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Simplify Means Tested Benefit System

Comment 6th July 2010

There are currentky four mainstream central governmemt benefits that are means tested Income Support, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Related Employment Support Allowance, and Pension Credit Savings and Guaratee..

These create a mass of contradictions and complex better or worse of calculations for the same claiment.

  • For example some one who is 60 who possess capital of £16001 can claim means tested Pension Credit guaratee but will be refused paymentof  Income Based Job Seekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance.  
  • Some one who is long term sick and receives Statutary Sick Pay finds when this ends their income drops to £65.45/week.
  • Some who receives the lowest rate of Disability living allowance will receive an extra £27.50/week if single and £39.15 on Inco,e Based Jobseekers allowance or Incom,e Suppoprt than they would when they claimed Income Related Employment Support Allowance.
  • A couple both on Disability Living Allowance middle rate care could receive an additional £105.70/week via the severe disability premium. If they also claim carers allowance for each other because they care for each other 35 hoursa a week they can receive an additional £59/week  via the carers premium if they have an underlying entitlement to carers allowance. If they actually receive carers allowance not only is it taken into account as income for means tested benefits but it will lead to them being worse off as they could lose the £105.70/week SDP premium.
  • A claiment who is long term sick and works and has no other income or savings will receive £65.45 contribution based Employment Support Allowance and will have to pay all their health related expenses.. Someone who has not worled and simlarly has no income or savings will receive £65.45 income related Employment Support Allowance and will not pay health costs.
  • The Severe Disability Addition itself is paid to someone who lives alone but receives help from visiting relatives, but is removed if a none dependent moves in if they care for them or not, and if they work the none dependent cannot claim carers allowance.

 

These are a few examles of a means tested benefit system that was designed with the best intention but lets all down. It costs more to administer fotr tax payers. It befuddles the most desperate in society and they lose out. It results in a lottery of entitlement rather than a fare sysytem.

The system is in desperate need of review both in the number of benefits and the premiums themselves.

There should be one means tested benefit for carers, pensioners, sick and out of work.

Conditionality of any group can be placed to the inevitable premiums as has already been done with carers who claim Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance.

Why does this matter?

There is duplication of administration and a confusing system that costs more and deliver less to most who need it the most.


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