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Know Your Welfare Rights
Your welfare rights are to be made aware of your maximum entitlement to state welfare benefits. You also have the right to receive these benefits and be fairly treated by the welfare system. Welfare rights are human rights.
What are Welfare Rights (origin)
In 1794, one year after the French Declaration of the Rights of Man was published, the Prussian Civil Code was enacted. It imposed on the state a duty “ to provide the sustenance and support of those of its citizens who cannot….procure subsistence themselves”.
This established the legal proposition that citizens have a right against their government to subsistence. After the Second World War, welfare rights were included in international human rights treaties, most notably the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Consequently, in domestic law your welfare rights were secured in the United Kingdom in 1969 other developed countries, including Ireland, Australia and the United States.
Housing – Your Welfare right is a Human Right
Your welfare rights include the right to housing. Human rights are for all people, wherever they are. Housing is essential for human survival with dignity. Hence, the right to housing is clearly supported by international law. Indeed they are included in the very foundation of the international human rights system, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This Declaration, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, establishes an internationally recognised set of standards for all persons without qualification.
Article 25 of the Declaration says, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including …. housing”. Unfortunately, turning rights into realities is difficult. However, what you can do is make sure that you are accessing whatever support is available. In your country this may mean:
- Access to public housing (often called social housing) provided direct to you by government; and/or
- A rent support payment pr allowance paid direct to you so you can obtain housing in the private rental market.
It is up to you to find out what support is available.
- Find out what the government department/s are is responsible for helping you with housing.
- Correctly complete the required application forms.
- Ensure your application remains current and is updated as required. Make sure your application is processed.
Make sure you know your welfare rights such as housing. Remember housing is a human right!
Your Welfare Rights, International law and Income Support.
An income support payment is a regular payment that helps you with living costs. In most countries the type of income support payment you may get depends on your circumstances.
The right to social security requires a social security system be established and that a country must, within its maximum available resources, ensure access to a social security scheme that provides a minimum essential level of benefits to all individuals and families. It must enable them to acquire at least essential health care, basic shelter and housing, water and sanitation, foodstuffs, and the most basic forms of education.
Your right to income support is confirmed in international human rights treaties. The right to social security is contained in article 9 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The UN Committee has stated that implementing the right to social security requires that a system be established under domestic law, and that public authorities must take responsibility for the effective administration of the system. This requires that a country must, within its maximum available resources, ensure access to a social security scheme that provides a minimum essential level of benefits to all individuals and families that will enable them to acquire at least essentials of life.
Welfare payments, sometime known as a social security system. should cover the following specific situations:
- health care
- old age
- employment injury and illness
- family and child support, including the need to care for adult dependants
Wherever you live, you should:
- Find out what government departments are responsible for welfare or social security payments and what specific payments they provided.
- Make sure you apply for those payments you are entitled to and that your application is properly lodged with the correct department.
The proposal for a general basic income which has been trialed, to assist the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in the science society, with very positive outcomes for participants.
Other areas of assistance, whether it relates to education, mental health, or indeed recreation, can be crucial in helping people get by. These services often help ordinary people bounce back from traumatic events in life. In addition, they assist vulnerable groups, including peoplemwith disabilities and the elderly.
With all the areas mentioned above, the process is the same.
- Find the government department responsible for delivering the service.
- Make sure your application is correct with them and follow up until you have received your entitlements.
Sometimes perseverance is the key as bureaucracy can be hard to deal with and often delays occur so keep making sure your application is being considered and up-to-date until you have been granted your full legal entitlement.
They have been increasing calls for either a Universal Basic Income (UBI) or a Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) payment.
A Universal Basic Income would be a direct payment that allowed people to afford the essentials of life, but it will be paid to every member of the community. Hence the name Universal Basic Income.
A Guaranteed Basic Income is more of an equity measure and it would be a fixed amount paid to those most in need in any community. The Guaranteed Basic Income has been trialled among disadvantage of marginalise groups and found to be most helpful and increasing their mental health and quality of life and even improve their chances of obtaining employment and better health outcomes.
Socialists and liberals around the world are united in campaigning for a direct income payment for those most in need, so that no citizen is forced to live below the poverty line.
Know your welfare rights. Welfare support and payments are not charity they are your legal entitlement. Your welfare rights may come in a variety of forms, depending on where you live.
Your entitlements may come in different forms. They may come in the form of direct services such as housing, medical or other services. They may also take the form of income support payments.
In today’s world the wealthiest 1% enjoy a unimaginable wealth. As a result, they look after themselves at the expense of us and the planet. Therefore, the rest of us need to access and receive whatever welfare rights and supports we are entitled to. Therefore, whatever form they take, make sure you claim your welfare rights. They are your moral and legal entitlement.