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300,000 jobless people not claiming benefits: Reports
January 04, 2018
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LONDON: Around 300,000 people who are “forgotten unemployed” or on a low income are missing out on financial support they are entitled to, according to a new report.

The group, made up mainly of older people, especially women aged 55 to 64, and younger men, were not claiming unemployment benefits worth at least £73 a week, the Resolution Foundation found.

This amounts to a weekly total of £21.9m in benefits that goes unclaimed.

Most of those missing out on financial support were jobless, prompting the think tank to dub them the “forgotten unemployed.”

However, a significant minority were in work and entitled to claim universal credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance, according to the report.

It is possible for someone to claim jobseeker’s allowance if they are not working or employed for less than 16 hours a week and if their partner is either not working or working fewer than 24 hours a week.

An individual’s entitlement to the benefit ends once their income reaches £78 a week.

Under universal credit, which will eventually replace Jobseekers Allowance, that point is £116, or higher if the claimant also receives support for their rent.

The Resolution Foundation has said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) must do more to examine the reasons why so many eligible people do not claim.

As universal credit is currently being rolled out, it said this would be a good time to do this.

The new benefit system could provide a “much needed refocus” on groups at the edges of the labour market who need support, the think tank said.

It also suggested universal credit could still miss some key groups who currently do not claim support.

The government should look into linking of household survey data, with more detail of an individual’s background and administrative data, it said.

The Independent

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