Definitions

Supplementary Benefit

Supplementary Benefit

Supplementary Benefit was a means-tested benefit in the United Kingdom, paid to people on low-incomes, whether classed as unemployed, or not. Introduced in November 1966, it replaced the earlier system of discretionary National Assistance payments, and was intended to 'top-up' other benefits, hence its name. It was paid weekly, by the DHSS, through order books, cashed at local post offices.

Unemployed people were amongst the largest proportion of claimants, usually those under the age of 18, having not yet entered employment, or those who had been unemployed longer than 12 months, and having exhausted eligibility for Unemployment Benefit. Criticism arose because of the apparent lack of sanctions against unemployed claimants, and the perception of a benefits culture.

The benefit was abolished in April 1988, as part of a wider overhaul of the benefits system.

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