The allure of means testing for benefits is to keep people who could likely, in theory, get off welfare, from collecting, just because its easier for them not to work. While means testing is a solid option, its certainly not ideal; ideally, a system that was truly progressive (ie not taking away benefits completely if someone gets a raise and makes above a certain amount) would be better.
No, means testing does not avoid creating dependency, because individuals know how much they are allowed to earn before they are ineligible for benefits. The people wanting benefits will earn just enough so that they are still eligible. Means testing does no good in avoiding a dependency culture, because the person without need likely already has a good work ethic.