Definition of means test in English:

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means test

Pronunciation: /ˈmēnz ˌtest/


An official investigation into someone’s financial circumstances to determine whether they are eligible for a welfare payment or other public funds.
Example sentences
  • The new law uses a means test to determine ability to continue paying debts over an extended period of time.
  • The proposed law would require a means test to determine whether a consumer can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which liquidates assets and eliminates debt, or a Chapter 13, which requires a repayment plan.
  • The Bankruptcy Act will implement a means test to determine ability to shell out at least a portion of arrears.


(means-test) [with object] (usually as adjective means-tested)
1Make (a welfare payment, etc.) conditional on a means test: means-tested benefits
More example sentences
  • Also, anyone who has savings of between £3,000 and £8,000 will have their means-tested benefits reduced on a sliding scale.
  • All means-tested benefits combined would reduce the poverty rate by another 2.9 percentage points.
  • If you have a low income you may be entitled to means-tested benefits which could top up your income.
1.1Subject (someone) to a means test.
Example sentences
  • The government will be means-testing half the entire pensioner population.
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