Supplementary Benefit was a means-tested benefit in the United Kingdom, paid to people on low incomes, whether or not they were classed as unemployed, such as pensioners, the sick and single parents. Introduced in November 1966, it replaced the earlier system of discretionary National Assistance payments and was intended to 'top up' other benefits, hence its name.
To qualify a claimant had to demonstrate that their capital was below the limit, £6,000, and that their weekly income was less than their requirements, as calculated in accordance with the benefits regulations.
The Supplementary Benefits Commission was established alongside the Ministry of Social Security by the Ministry of Social Security Act 1966 to work to administer the new benefits. Richard Titmuss was appointed vice-chair of the Commission.:182
In 1968 the Ministry of Social Security was incorporated into the new Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS).
Supplementary benefit appeal tribunals
The benefit was abolished and replaced by Income Support on 11 April 1988, as part of a wider overhaul of the benefits system. This was a significant shift in ethos, moving from a benefit based on circumstances that was customisable to take account of factors such as heating and diet needs to one based on age with very little flexibility, which was easier to computerise.
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