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. It’s intended to cover basic living costs. Income Support is for people who don’t have to register as being unemployed if they’re out of work, such as carers and single parents with a child under five. If you’re unemployed and looking for work, you can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance instead.
If your partner works for more than 24 hours a week this may affect your eligibility for income-based support.
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 16 or more hours a week, or if your partner works more than 24 hours a week. Some of your earnings from work are disregarded for this benefit. This is typically £5, £10 or £20 of your weekly earnings depending on your circumstances.
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.
This benefit is gradually being replaced by Universal Credit for people making a new claim. The benefit you have to apply for will depend on where you live. Contact a welfare rights adviser to find out how this change may affect you.
Many factors will be taken into account when you claim Income Support. They include:
- your age
- your income
- your housing costs
- your savings and investments
- the number of hours you work a week
- your personal circumstances, such as being a carer or single parent.
Income Support is made up of the following:
These are payments for living expenses for you and your partner. If you’re eligible and have dependent children, you should claim Child Tax Credit (or, depending on where you live and your situation, Universal Credit) as well.
This is an extra amount that’s paid because of special circumstances, for example, being a carer or having a disability.