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Standard of Reasonable Income

The Nuclear Industry Benevolent Fund has been in touch with the following query for ACO members: Do ACO members have a standard of income benchmark and how do you calculate and apply it?

Elaine Price, Secretary and Manager at the Nuclear Industry Benevolent Fund  writes:

When calculating a person’s financial position we use what we call the “Standard of Reasonable Income” as a guideline when deciding what help to give.

Our Standard is an amount we believe a person needs to live on once they have paid their rent/mortgage, Council Tax and Water rates. We currently have a rate for a single person which is £154.00, a couple £237, we add £66 for each child under 11 and £84 for each child 11 and over. This is used as a guide and we do not automatically take applicants to this level if they are below it. This Standard is currently reviewed in April and usually increased in line with State pension/benefits. We are not sure why this criteria is used for the increase.

The Trustees have queried why we use this Standard and how it originated. Unfortunately, we cannot find how it was devised originally and why it was increased in the way it is. We currently use the Joseph Rowntree Minimum Income Standard as a guide but we are mindful that the amounts they suggest are to take people to a minimum socially acceptable standard of living, which we believe is a little higher than we should be considering as a charity. However, we would like to have other charities’ figures to compare with.

We would be grateful if you could ask members:

  • Do they have a “Standard” or similar benchmark?
  • What is the rationale behind this i.e. is it like ours or do they look at all income and expenditure?
  • What factors do they use to help set levels i.e. Joseph Rowntree trust, other charities etc.
  • Do they take debt repayments into consideration?
  • Do they include set acceptable levels for expenditure i.e. food, heating, travel costs etc?
  • Do they automatically take everyone who is below this level up to the Standard?
  • How often is it reviewed?
  • If it is increased how do they decide what the increase should be i.e. CPI etc?

Please respond to Elaine Price - or 01925 633005.