Income Support

This is a benefit for people on a low income. It helps cover basic living costs.

Income Support is for people aged between 16 and retirement age. It is for people who do not have to register as being unemployed if they are out of work.

If you are making a new claim, depending on where you live, you may need to claim Universal Credit instead of Income Support.

Who can claim

You can claim Income Support if you:

  • are a carer
  • are a single parent with a child under five
  • are pregnant
  • get Statutory Sick Pay but still do not have enough money to live on.

All of the following must also apply to you:

  • You, and your partner if you have one, have £16,000 or less in savings between you.
  • You, and your partner if you have one, have no income or a low income. If you are claiming based on sickness, earnings from some types of permitted work are not considered.
  • If you are single, you must work less than 16 hours a week.
  • If you have a partner, you must work less than 24 hours a week between you.

You can also claim if you are aged between 16 and 20 (in England, Scotland and Wales) or 19 and younger (in Northern Ireland), and you are at least one of the following:

  • a parent
  • not living with a parent (or someone acting as a parent)
  • a refugee learning English.

How much you could get

Income Support is paid at different rates depending on your situation.

You may get basic payments (called personal allowances). There are different basic payments that you can get. The one you get will depend on your situation, for example:

  • your age
  • whether you are single or have a partner
  • whether you are a single parent (if you are aged under 25).

You may get extra payments (called premiums) for special circumstances, for example if you are disabled or a carer.

Income Support acts as a passport to other benefits, such as free school meals, free prescriptions and Housing Benefit. It can also include some help with paying off the interest on mortgages.

The amount of Income Support you get will not be reduced if you, or your partner if you have one, also claim Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance. It may even increase.

How to claim

Back to If you are unable to work or on a low income

Support from your work

You may be able to get financial help from the government if you are unable to work because of cancer.

Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance is a benefit for people under retirement age who cannot work because of illness or disability.

Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit (WTC) is for people aged from 16 to retirement age who work but have a low income or disability.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Jobseeker’s Allowance can give you a weekly income if you are unemployed and able to work.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment for people who are on a low income or looking for work.