Your guide to the Benefit System

Looking after British Families

Guide to the UK Welfare State

The UK welfare state is designed to help British families when they fall upon hard times. If you are struggling to cope with your financial situation, learn more about what benefits you may be entitled to and how you can make a claim.

This guide is here to provide information about how the UK’s welfare state works and practical advice about how to make a claim if you need to do so. On top of this, you will find information about why the welfare state was founded, how well the UK welfare system compares to welfare offered in other countries and what the main challenges are that the UK welfare system faces today.


Table of Contents

History of welfare reform
How the UK welfare system works
Benefits for working parents
Benefits for unemployed
Benefits for disabled
Benefits for heating expenses
Benefits from local councils
Housing benefits
Universal credit
Benefit cap
Pension system
Social welfare
Illegal immigrants
Bereavement support

How to Use this Guide to the Benefits System in the UK

The structure of this guide is as follows: Firstly, this guide begins with two general chapters: one about the history of welfare in the UK and the second gives a general explanation of how the UK welfare system works and explores how it compares to other countries. Chapter 3 – 12 explains the main benefits that are available to citizens of the UK. Look at this section for information about benefits for new mothers, people who have children, benefits for people who are unemployed or on a low income, benefits for disabled people, benefits to help with heating expenses, local council benefits and housing benefits. We then explain in chapters 13 – 17 how the pension system works and how recent and future welfare reforms affect people who need to make a claim. On top of this, we discuss the way that benefits claimants are viewed by society, what impact immigrants have on the system and support people can claim after suffering a loss.



Written by: Becky Hall
Last modified:

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