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Means-Tested Benefits

Volume 301: debated on Tuesday 25 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate she has made of the number of individuals, including dependent children, who are in households receiving at least one means-tested benefit, broken down to show the combinations of benefits received. [12816]

The information is set out in the table:

Beneficiaries of means-tested benefits (May 1996)
Number of beneficiaries
One or more means-tested benefit15,110,000
Combinations of benefits including in the above:
Income support only2,370,000
Family credit only1,560,000
Disability working allowance only8,000
Housing benefit and/or council tax benefit only3,090,000
Housing benefit and/or council tax benefit with family credit850,000
Housing benefit and/or council tax benefit with income support7,220,000
Housing benefit and/or council tax benefit with disability working allowance9,000


1.All figures have been rounded to the nearest ten thousand, except combined benefit figures showing disbility working allowance claimants which are rounded to the nearest thousand.

2. Numbers are based on benefit units which may be a single person or a couple.

3. Beneficiaries are defined as claimants, their partners and any dependants.

4. There will be a significant overlap between recipients of individual benefits.

5. The income support figures include a small number of cases whose entitlement to family credit or disability working allowance has not yet been lapsed. In reality these cases are dependant on income support.

6. Housing benefit/council tax benefit information excludes second adult rebate cases.

7. Data include estimates due to the date collection procedure.


1.Income Support Quarterly Statistical Enquiry, May 1996 (5 per cent. sample).

2. Family Credit 5 per cent. sample of all awards.

3. Disability Working Allowance 100 per cent. count of claims.

4. Housing Benefit Mangement Information System, annual 1 per cent. sample inquiries, with and without income support, taken at the end of May 1996.