This is a means-tested benefit for people on a low income, aged between 16 and the age at which they can claim Pension Credit.
Income Support is intended to cover basic living costs. It's for people who don’t have to sign on as unemployed, such as carers and single parents with young children. If you’re unemployed and looking for work, you can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance instead.
This benefit will be replaced by Universal Credit between October 2013 and 2017 for new claimants. Contact a welfare rights adviser to find out how this change may affect you.
If you're already receiving Income Support, you'll continue to do so until either your circumstances change or the DWP decides to transfer your claim to Universal Credit.
You can claim Income Support if your savings are worth £16,000 or less. The value of your home is usually ignored. Normally, you can’t get Income Support if you work more than 16 hours a week (or if your partner works more than 24 hours a week).
If you receive Income Support, the amount won’t be reduced if you or your partner claim Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance - in fact, you may become eligible for more.
Many factors will be taken into account when you claim Income Support. They include:
your housing costs
your savings and investments
the number of hours you work a week
the number of people in your household
your personal circumstances, such as being a carer or single parent.
Income Support is made up of:
These are payments for living expenses for you and your partner. If you have dependent children, you should claim Child Tax Credit (or, depending on where you live and your situation, Universal Credit from October 2013) as well.
This is an extra amount that’s paid because of special circumstances, for example being a carer or having a disability.
Income Support can help with mortgage interest payments. Income Support also acts as a ‘passport’ to other benefits, such as free school meals, free prescriptions or Housing Benefit.
How can I claim?
Call Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688, textphone 0800 023 4888, or visit Gov.uk.