Who Receives Benefits?

  • Stephen McKay
  • Karen Rowlingson


In the previous chapter, we suggested that one way of classifying benefits is by considering the groups of people who receive them. This chapter looks at each of the different types of benefit recipient in the following order, arranged by the size of current social security spending on each group:
  • Pensioners

  • Disabled people (and their carers)

  • Families with children

  • The unemployed.

Some social security benefits can only be received by a particular group; for example, only disabled people can (or at least should) receive Incapacity Benefit. There are, however, some social security benefits that can be received by more than one group. In particular, Income Support could (at least in the past) be claimed by all of these groups, and Jobseeker’s Allowance could be claimed by unemployed people with or without children. As well as describing the different types of benefit available to each group, we also discuss the reasons for providing particular benefits to particular groups and consider the types of people claiming and the main issues relating to them.


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Copyright information

© Stephen McKay and Karen Rowlingson 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen McKay
  • Karen Rowlingson

There are no affiliations available

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