Means-tested benefit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A means-tested benefit is a payment available to people who can demonstrate that their income and capital (their 'means') are below specified limits. It is a central part of the welfare state in the United Kingdom.


The Beveridge Report of 1942 proposed a system of contributory benefits which would leave only a residual role for means-tested benefits which were then called National Assistance.



The main means-tested benefits in 2019 are:

Receipt of such benefits other than Housing Benefit and tax credits is a passport to other non-cash help such as free school meals, free prescription charges, Legal Aid, cold weather payment. The claimant, their partner and dependent children are covered. The rules for free NHS dentistry and optical charges have become more complex since the introduction of Universal Credit and have led to many people facing financial penalties, often wrongly.[1]

People who are not entitled to any of the qualifying benefits may be able to qualify for help with health charges by a separate means test, the NHS Low Income Scheme.

Assessment of means[edit]

The income and capital limits are specified in relation to the needs of a household, normally a couple and any children living with them. A couple who are not married may be treated as Living together as a married couple.

See capital

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'Go to the dentist and get fined £100'". BBC. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]