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Brits baffled by benefits from the welfare state

18th October 2010 Print

Nearly 40 million Britons are unclear of what kind of financial support they would receive from the Government in the event they or a family member were diagnosed with a serious illness, suffered a bereavement or a disability, according to Scottish Provident's Financial Safety Net report.

Four in five respondents to the survey (80%) admitted that they did not know what benefits were on offer, should they find themselves in a position where they required government support to aid them and their families financially.

Susan Barclay, Head of Marketing, Scottish Provident, said: "The lack of knowledge suggests that many millions of Britons are likely to find themselves severely under-prepared, and on the back foot should they need provisions from the state."

Once informed about the current benefits available from the Government, just one in seven (14%) believe that the current unemployment benefits are an adequate sum for survival.  Less than a quarter of adults (24%) feel the disability benefit of £71.40 per week for mobile adults, or £121.25 for those immobilised, is an appropriate amount for those people to meet a reasonable standard of living.

Susan Barclay continued: "By letting consumers know exactly what they would receive in state benefits should they have a need to do so, our research has highlighted how many millions feel they would be unable to survive on government intervention alone.  
"With the coalition government looking to make further cuts to benefits, this figure is only set to rise.  It is clear that individuals need to act themselves to build a financial safety net, ensuring security should the worst happen. 

"Having robust financial plans in place helps create peace of mind that their family will be properly looked after, should they face a situation where they are in immediate need of money.  Putting a personalised plan in place will ultimately offer far more substantial sums than the Government can, and with even more cuts expected this will ensure that families can continue to enjoy a standard of living that they have come to expect as the norm."