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Stricter benefit rules proposed

Stricter rules could be on the way for lone parents and couples on low incomes claiming social security benefits.

The DHSS has today (Wednesday) announced proposals to change qualification for family income supplement and income support. A consultation on the plans is to be held.

At present, claimants have to work a minimum of 16 hours a week to receive family income supplement.

The department wants the time extended before claims are payable - to 24 hours for lone parents and 30 for couples.

Director of Social Security Ken Crellin says getting people to go back to work has obvious benefits.

At the same time, consultation into the department's overall health strategy is being extended. A series of Island wide consultations last year gave people the chance to make their views known. The department now says its aim is to help people help themselves get healthier.

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