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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2003): Social Security - UK

FATAL DELAY

G Nosowska

Community Care, Jan. 30th-Feb. 5th 2003, p.40

Since 1993 terminally ill people have been entitled automatically to the higher rate of attendance allowance and to have their claims fast tracked. However many eligible people either don't claim, or have great difficulty in doing so, because of the system's complexity and lack information.

RADICAL AGENDA FOR HOUSING BENEFIT REFORM

J Casebourne

Working Brief, no. 141, 2003, p.10-11

Summarises government proposals for housing benefit reform. At the core of the reform is the introduction, in ten pathfinder areas at first, of a standard local housing allowance for private rentals. The allowance will be flat-rate, based on area and family size, and the amount paid will be income-related. In most cases it will be paid directly to the tenant. Tenants who find a suitable accommodation at a rent less than the standard allowance will be allowed to keep the difference.

WORKING FAMILIES TAX CREDIT IN 2001

S McKay

London: Department for Work and Pensions, 2003 (DWP research report series; 181)

In 2001, 18% of all families were receiving WFTC, with average weekly awards of £78.00. Families who had moved into work in 2001 and who were receiving WFTC were on average £64 better off than if they had remained on income support. Overall, more than half of WFTC recipients said they couldn't manage financially without it. A further quarter said they could only manage without WFTC if they "cut down a lot". Awareness of the in-work benefit and knowledge of the level of awards could be improved as most people assume the "run-out" point to be much lower than it really is.

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