means test

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means test

an examination of the personal and financial circumstances of an individual to assess his or her eligibility for benefits under a country's system of SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS. The benefits that are being claimed are not regarded as a universal right but are assessed under rules and regulations as laid down by legislation and the government department concerned. The payment of the welfare benefit is a right only if an individual is within the limits of income, personal circumstance, etc., for the period of the claim. Many poverty-action groups argue for the abolition of means-tested benefits because of the indignities that an examination of circumstances imposes and because they discourage proud but needy individuals from applying. Others argue for their retention as a means of limiting TRANSFER PAYMENTS and curbing GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE.
References in periodicals archive ?
An income-based means test that reduced the average Social Security benefit for this group by $4,900 would reduce benefits by about 30 percent on average.
Mr Wesbroom calculates that once you have taken into account the loss of housing benefit and the like that go with being marginally "too rich" to qualify for Mr Brown's pension credits anyone who falls foul of the means test faces the equivalent of 40 per cent tax on their private pension.
And the question of whether any modestly paid person is better off in this scheme facing a means test, or out of it altogether, requires highly individual advice.
MIRROR MONEY ADVICE: Why not join our campaign for a decent basic pension free of means tests and uprated in line with earnings?
Means tests have a bad name because of the inquisition imposed on the unemployed in the 1930s by busybody civil servants.
The Tories yesterday turned their attack on Chancellor Gordon Brown, claiming he was planning to means test child benefit.