As the people's guardian, it felt obliged to take care of the weak, disabled, injured, the sick, the elderly and those undergoing personal crises. Everywhere else the concept of providing social security to all citizens badly in need of social benefits, as part of patria potestas had been designed.
The social security system in Bulgaria exemplifies how European Union states provide social assistance to its citizens. Social assistance is defined as "means-tested financial assistance, both in cash and in kind which is provided to individuals in need, meeting certain requirements" Pieters 2002,p.1). In Bulgaria, the state provides social insurance to its citizens who are too old or are incapacitated to work or those who died; health insurance, to the sick and to those
vulnerable to diseases as well as mothers giving birth; unemployment insurance; family benefits and social assistance which consists of long-term and day care social services for the elderly and mentally handicapped.
In Great Britain, the fourth of its national income is reserved for expenses on social security, health care and education. While UK has entrenched itself as one of the most industrialised and sophisticated nations on earth, yet a portion of its populace remains mired in poverty and a considerable portion of it is unemployed and a big part of the unemployed are women who are single mothers.
In a statistical figure presented by DWP (Department For Work and Pensions) in 2001, 5% of UK population is bracketed as poorest of the poor and this is comprised of single pensioners "receiving only the basic state pension of 72.50 pounds..and claiming no other benefits", where 17% of the whole population was declared poor (Hills 2004, pp 12, 19). Likewise, 19% of the UK populace were social housing residents and of these 73% belong to the poorest two-fifths of the population (Hills 2004,p.16).
Because of these dire statistics, Great Britain as pater familias was compelled to provide soccial security benefits to citizens badly in need of support and unable to cope. By legislations such as the Social Security Act of 1986 and through regulations formulated by the Secretary of State and with the guidance of case laws, UK through the administration of the DPW, has established benefit schemes that provide cash benefits to those who are qualified to receive such social security benefits. These benefits are classified into three: contributory benefits, which are insurance benefits designed to answer for the perils of death, old age, work incapacity,