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.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Even so, more than two million older people in Britain are entitled to means-tested support of pounds 124 a week.
Income effects mean that people with incomes below A or higher than B* have less incentive to save when means-tested retirement benefits are available than when they are not, while the reverse is true for people in the range AB*.
To re-inject fiscal discipline, a means-tested lien could be placed on a person's estate for recovery of expenditures that exceeded his total contribution to Medicare.
Although few cities currently have direct responsibility for administering federal Medicaid or welfare programs, the major means-tested federal safety net programs.
If you are on means-tested benefits or low income, however, you may not have to pay.
The only principle really is that there will always need to be a judicious mixture of universal and means-tested benefits.
"But almost simultaneously, the Government is introducing a new and separate means test for child benefit which will work in a completely different way, as well as making the seventh existing means-tested benefit - council tax benefit - much more complicated by asking every local authority in England to design its own scheme.
"This will materialise a few years down the track, when a large number of people discover that being auto-enrolled into Nest has merely resulted in a reduction in means-tested benefits they would have received if they had opted out.
Pensioners are not the only people who feel the cold, and a fairer system would be some type of means-tested Winter Fuel Payment for all low-income households, paid directly to the energy supplier.
Help the Aged is calling on the Government to tackle pensioner poverty by introducing a system of automatic payment of means-tested benefits to ensure full take-up.
"The value of the basic state pension, even with contributions from a reformed second state pension, will not ensure that all contributors gain an income above means-tested assistance."