300,000 'forgotten unemployed' not claiming benefits they are entitled to - report

Posted On: 
2nd January 2018

Around 300,000 people are missing out on state benefits by failing to claim the money they are entitled to, a new report has revealed.

Many jobseekers are apparently not claiming the support they could be, the Foundation found
Credit: 
PA

People out of work or earning only a small amount are losing a minimum of £73 a week by not applying for unemployment benefits, the Resolution Foundation thinktank found.

Their analysis of the unemployment rate and claimant count data found the "forgotten unemployed" group was mainly made up of people aged 55-64, especially women, along with younger men. 

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Some potential claimants could be missing out on more than the £73.10 a week of Jobseeker's Allowance by not getting passported benefits such as maternity grants and free school meals for their children.

However the report notes that many of those out of work not claiming are either living with a partner who is in work or with their parents, so have less of an incentive to claim state support.

Despite that the Foundation is calling on the Office for National Statistics to set out a new measure for people at the margins of the labour market who are not getting the support they need.

“Over the last twenty years, a growing number of unemployed people are not claiming unemployment benefits," said the Foundation's senior economic analyst David Finch.

“Policy makers have generally been pretty relaxed about this gap, assuming that is largely due to people finding new work very quickly, or having other sources of financial support at home.

“But while there are good reasons for some people not to claim benefits, there are also around 300,000 forgotten unemployed people who are falling through the cracks and not getting the financial support that they need and are entitled to.”