Public consultation: Passported Benefits under Universal Credit

The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) has been asked by the Minister for Welfare Reform to undertake an independent review of Passported Benefits and provide advice on possible approaches to the provision of Passported Benefits under Universal Credit.

The review will consider a number of key issues, including complexity, cost and work incentives.

Passported benefits can be differentiated into: benefits in kind such as free school meals, free milk, fruit and vegetables, and vitamins, free prescriptions; cash benefits such as support for travel costs to hospitals or prisons; and discounts on charges or fees such as leisure discounts.

Government departments and the devolved administrations are responsible for defining entitlement to some of the passported benefits available. When Universal Credit is introduced it will provide a new single system of means-tested support for working-age people in and out of work. As a result, the current criteria for defining eligibility to various passported benefits will no longer exist.

As part of the review, the Committee would like to hear from individuals, organisations and other bodies with views on Passported Benefits under Universal Credit. The consultation period begins on 16 June and ends on 22 July 2011.

Those wishing to make representations to the Committee should consider the key consultation questions, available from the SSAC website:, or from the Secretary to the Committee, Gill Saunders (0207 962 8345). Representations should be sent to the Committee at NE Spur, Level 3, Adelphi Building, 1-11 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HT, or by email to ssac [at] dwp [dot] gsi [dot] gov [dot] uk, to arrive no later than 22 July 2011.