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Claim Income Support Urges ESS President

Islanders struggling with the cost of living are told Income Support is an 'absolute entitlement.'

The president of Employment and Social Security, deputy Peter Roffey, used his committee update to States members at the October meeting to address the current cost of living squeeze.

Income Support is a means tested benefit that enables people in Guernsey and Alderney to apply for financial support to ensure they have an acceptable standard of living.

Social Security calls this the 'Requirement Rate' and it can vary depending on circumstances.

It doesn't matter whether a person is in work or not to claim the benefit. It is capped, but it can also be applied to help with childcare. The winter fuel allowance is paid to those receiving Income Support.

Deputy Roffey wants anyone who is struggling, to apply:

"There is no shame in seeking financial support. It is an absolute entitlement. I am always puzzled why almost no one in Guernsey is remotely sheepish about claiming Family Allowance, but some people seemingly are, over Income Support." 

"They shouldn't be, and at this really difficult time for our community and other communities, I encourage people who are struggling, to do just that."

Deputy Roffey also mentioned that there was States help available for medical expenses for those on low or no incomes, and that discussions were ongoing with Policy and Resources about upping the entitlement by £50, as rates had been fixed for years.

In a two pronged attack on the cost of living and the 'white hot' jobs market, deputy Roffey announced that the removal of the income limit for people living in social housing in Guernsey is to be extended until the end of next year.

It was suspended a year ago, to help both employers and employees:

"It will encourage our tenants to maximise their economic participation."

When it is reintroduced, in 2025, deputy Roffey assured tenants that they won't lose their right to social housing, as long as they can prove their household's wages increased during the period of suspension.

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