Unit 3 topic 2


How the state can help

Aim for the topic: understand the range and type of welfare benefits and services that are available today to help those in need. 

Much of the topic is probably irrelevant to the exam, its clear what parts of the chapter are relevent so I will be detailing those parts and either removing or limiting other parts. 

The benefits system

The UK benefits system is divided into two types of benefit. Contributory and non-contributory. 

  • Contributory benefits - are paid to eligable claimants provided that they have paid the required number of National Insurance Contributions (NICS). Employers automatically deduct NICS  (and income tax) from employers salaries, but self employed workers have to make arangements to pay their own NICS.
  • Non-contributory benefits - are paid to those eligable claimants who either have not paid enough NICS to claim contributory benefits or who need a top up as the contributory benefits that they recieve do not meet their income needs. 

The principle behind contributory benefits is that the contributions that each person receives give them the right to receive a set, flat-rate benefit when they need it. The creators of the system made in contributory partly as a way of funding it, but also becuase people would be too proud to accept it. 

The reason that it is paid at a flat rate is becuase it keeps the price of the system in check and also because it removes the problems associated with means testing. People might not like it as it goes into thier personal life. 

Help for people who are out of work or unable to work full-time

Jobseekers allowance (JSA) 

The main benefit for those of working age who are not working full-time, but who are able to work, available for work and making evey effort to find work, is Job Seekers Allowance. Within JSA there are both contributory and non-contributory JSA benefits. However eligable claimants receive the same weekly cash benefit - with a higher rate paid to those aged 25 and over - regardless of which type of JSA they are claiming.  

Contributions-based JSA 

If you were employed (not self-employed) for the two tax years (6th april - 5th april) before you claim and you paid NICs throughout that period, you might be entitled to claim contributions-based JSA if you are out of work. The period this is paid is 6 months You will get it if you fulfill this criteria. 

  • aged between 18 and retirement age
  • not a full-time student
  • work on average less than 16 hours a week
  • able to work and fully available to work
  • able to demonstrate that you are actively seeking work
  • willing and able to attend a JSA interview every two weeks (or when asked) to show what you have been doing to find work.

Income-based JSA 

This is available to unemployed people who have not paid the required amount of NICS. The main difference between this and contributions based JSA are are:

  • Income based JSA…


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