Welfare rights  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Welfare rights means the rights of people to be aware of and receive their maximum entitlement to state welfare benefits, and to be treated reasonably well by the welfare system. It has been established in the United Kingdom since 1969 and has also been developed in other countries including Ireland, Australia and the United States. It became necessary because of the complexity of the UK social security system and had links at the time with a growing Claimants Union movement. As local authorities realized the advantages of having well-informed front-line staff such as housing officers and social workers, who often have to deal with benefit queries as part of their wider tasks, they turned to welfare rights staff to provide that expertise for both training and handling complex cases. In the 1980s, as local authorities took on the wider 'equalities' agenda, anti-poverty work was seen as a valid local activity in itself. Increasing benefit income helps individuals but also boosts the local economy.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Welfare rights" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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