Means Test Essay Example

Published: 2022-09-28
Means Test Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Money Social work
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 693 words
6 min read

A means test is a test carried out to check if someone has enough financial resources to support himself or herself and the amount of social assistance that one qualifies for. It may also involve the determination of whether a family is eligible for any relevant government assistance based upon whether the family or an individual have other means to survive without the help. Calculation and evaluation of mean test vary differently from payment to payment. Income disregards might occur when calculating means test when certain income from particular sources is not accounted for. Disregards also differ from payment to payment hence there is no fixed way of calculating it (Schnitzer, 2016). This paper essay will consider the overview of the means test analysis.

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Before a means test is carried out, the respective persons must fill application forms to benefit with the social welfare payment. The key reason for application of the forms is to get a general overview of the sources of income by respective persons hence a measure of the financial status of the specific persons is weighed (Schreiner, 2017). The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) normally asks persons who wish to be helped on their bank accounts including their bank numbers. The bank account, however, cannot be accessed by DEASP unless the responsible person permits the access. A Social Welfare Inspector is involved in interviewing the respondent supportive documents to show that they are eligible for the benefit. They may also visit the homes of persons requesting for help from the government. All the sources given by the persons seeking for help are taken into account for a decision to be made on whether someone qualifies for the means-tested payment.

Once all the mean has been accessed and financial standards of those seeking for help is approximately measured, a social welfare organization awards a specific amount of money. The beneficiary is responsible for telling the DEASP about changes which might occur in the circumstances of person; failure to which the eligible person is liable to fines or forced to repay any overpayment which may have been wrongly allocated (Park, 2015). Hence, there is a need for responsible persons to give correct and clear information concerning their financial status in the society to prevent heavy fines or other forms of punishments from DEASP.

The test tries to access all the cash income which those applying for help expects to get in the forthcoming year to get a rough estimate of the amount of payment which is necessary to the specific individuals. This is usually possible as the income received in the previous years by responsible individuals is normally used hence an estimate of the income value is achieved. In most instances, cash income that is used to determine the payment be made to individuals applying for help includes incomes from that one gets from employment as well as self-employment income such as income realized from farming, social security pension from other country and also maintenance payments (Ward, 2016).

In conclusion, the payments that are made by Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) is of much importance to individuals who apply for the payments as they can lift their living standards and earn a living from the payment. Individuals who live under extreme poverty can be helped hence lifting the living standards of such persons. In most instances, an estimate made by DEASP is relatively close to the correct value hence bias in payments occurs in few cases or does not occur at all. However, those applying for the benefit are advised to give correct and clear details to avoid inconveniences the allocation of resources.


Schreiner, M. (2017). Comments on Brown, Ravallion, and van der Walle's 'A Poor Means Test? Econometric Targeting in Africa'.Park, H. M. (2015). Hypothesis testing and statistical power of a test.

Schnitzer, P. (2016). How to target households in adaptive social protection systems? Relative efficiency of proxy means test and household economy analysis in Niger. World Bank.

Ward, S. (2016). Unemployment and the State in Britain: The means test and protest in 1930s south Wales and north-east England. Oxford University Press.

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