Who can get benefits & types of benefit

IMPORTANT FACTS– Who can get benefits?

You may be entitled to benefits if any of the following apply to you:

  • You’re unemployed;
  • You’re on a low income;
  • You’re pregnant and / or have dependent children;
  • You’re sick, disabled or caring for someone;
  • You’re aged over 60 or have been bereaved

IMPORTANT FACTS- What types of benefits are there?

There are different types of benefits and rules for who qualifies for each of them. There are two main groups of benefits:

1. Contributory benefits

Benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) are determined by the National Insurance Contributions (NICs) that the individual has previously made.

2. Non-Contributory benefits

These benefits are paid regardless of how much you have paid in NICs, and are for a specific need. There are two different types of non-contributory benefits.

– Means tested 

The payment of these benefits may depend upon the amount of income that the individual earns and/or the value of their savings. These benefits are defined as means tested and examples include Housing Benefit and Child Benefit. 

– Non-means tested

 Other benefits are paid regardless of the individual’s income or savings and these are defined as non-means tested.

Set out in the next section is a table showing the benefits available under different circumstances (unemployed, sick etc.) and the explanation as to whether they are means or non-means tested

TRIVIA: Interesting diagram on who receives benefits with latest analysed information from Office of National Statistics. You don’t need to learn it but it shows that benefits are not just for the poorest.