Information » Money » Benefits » Income Support
Income Support is help if you or your partner have no or a low income. You can’t claim it if you have signed on as unemployed, get Employment and Support Allowance or if you work 16 hours a week or more.
It is not for anyone on a low income; to get it, you must be one of a group of people who can get benefit without having to look for work.
For example, you may be pregnant, or a carer, or a lone parent with a child under 5 or, in some cases, unable to work because you’re sick or disabled.
Your income and any savings (over £5,999) can affect how much you get, and your partner’s income and savings will also be taken into account. You won’t usually qualify if you have savings above £16,000.
Income Support is a non-contributory benefit. This means you can get it even if you don’t pay National Insurance contributions (payments).
How Will I Be Paid?
- a basic payment (personal allowance)
- extra payments (premiums)
You’ll get at least £56.80 a week in personal allowance and between £15.55 and £122.20 extra (premiums), depending on your circumstances e.g. if you’re a pensioner, disabled or a lone parent with a disabled child.
You can check the current rates here.
Income Support is normally paid every 2 weeks. It will be paid into an account e.g. a bank account, so make sure you’ve got one!
Who Else Can Apply?
Normally, you can’t apply for Income Support if you’re in full-time education. However, young people aged 19 or under in full-time secondary education who have children, have no parent(s) (or equivalent) living with them, or face a serious risk of abuse or violence can apply.
You might still get Income Support if you work full-time, but only if you take unpaid parental leave, or paid or unpaid paternity leave.
You can volunteer as many hours as you like and still claim Income Support. However, you have to tell the Department for Work and Pensions before you start volunteering and you must keep any expenses receipts.
How to apply
You can apply for Income Support by phone on 0800 055 6688 (English) or 0800 012 1888 (Welsh), by textphone on 0800 023 4888, or by filling in one of these forms and sending it to your local Jobcentre Plus.
Effects on other benefits
As before, you cannot claim Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance, if you claim Income Support.
Income Support is an important benefit because once you get it, you can automatically get Housing Benefit and other help e.g. with health costs.
You may also get help with your council tax.
You can claim Child Tax Credit if you claim Income Support and have children.
You may be able to get Income Support if you are getting Carer’s Allowance or you are caring for someone getting middle or highest rate Disability Living Allowance or either rate of the daily living part of Personal Independence Payment.
Please Note: the new benefit cap might limit the total amount of benefit that you get, so you might get less than you think!
Use a trusted benefits calculator to work out how much money you could get.
Universal Credit has already begun to replace Income Support in some parts of the UK. By 2017, Income support will be completely replaced by Universal Credit all across Wales.