Recipients of disability benefits will no longer have those payments count against them when applying for housing aid, Social Accommodation Minister Roderick Galdes said on Tuesday.

The revised system, announced on Tuesday and retroactively applicable as of January 1, means that applying for Housing Authority help while on disability welfare will not have those benefits factored into means tests.

To qualify for Housing Authority aid, applicants must undergo a means test that looks at their income to determine if they are able to continue without further aid.  

Previously, people receiving disability-related benefits had that income included in those means test calculations, leading to “contradictions in the government’s mechanics,” Galdes said. 

The update fixes an inconsistency in how the eligibility of funds is determined and aims to strengthen the “autonomy and independence” of those living with a disability, he added. 

“With this new measure, we are getting rid of this contradiction,” he said.

Therefore, as of January 1, recipients of disability benefits financial aid in areas such as rent for those suffering from a disability will no longer be included in means tests.

Galdes said the measure - which was announced during the Budget 2023 speech last year - would lead to more people being eligible for rental benefits and could see some recipients receive increased payments. 

Currently, around 4,000 people qualify for this Housing Authority help. 

“Even if this only benefits one person, we will still go ahead with this measure anyway," the minister said. 

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