Income Support


Updated: 4th June 2014


Income Support

1. Overview

You may be able to get Income Support if you meet all the specific conditions including:

  • you have no income or a low income
  • you’re working less than 16 hours a week
  • you haven’t signed on as unemployed

The actual amount you get depends on your circumstances, but if you qualify and have no income you’ll get at least £56.80 a week.

You can claim Child Tax Credit if you claim Income Support and have children.

Use a benefits calculator to work out what money you can get if you’re on a low income.



2. What you’ll get

You get a basic payment (a ‘personal allowance’) and extra payments (premiums) on top of this. Your income and any savings (over £5,999) can affect how much you get.

Personal allowance

Status Age Weekly payment
Single 16 to 24 £57.35
Single 25 or over £72.40
Lone parent 16 to 17 £ 57.35
Lone parent 18 or over £72.40
Couples Both under 18 £56.80
Couples One under 18, the other 18 to 24 £56.80
Couples One under 18, the other 25 or over £71.70
Couples Both 18 or over £112.55


You can get between £15.55 and £122.20 extra depending on your circumstances – eg if you’re a pensioner, disabled or a lone parent with a disabled child.

Use a benefits calculator to work out how much you can get.

How you’re paid

Payments are usually made every 2 weeks.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, eg a bank account.

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. Some individual benefits aren’t affected, but it may affect the total amount of benefit you get.



3. Eligibility

To qualify for Income Support you must be all of the following:

  • between 16 and Pension Credit qualifying age
  • 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
  • you have no income or a low income
  • working less than 16 hours a week (and your partner works no more than 24 hours a week)
  • living in England, Scotland and Wales – there are different rules for Northern Ireland

You don’t need a permanent address, eg you can still claim if you sleep rough or live in a hostel or care home.

You might still qualify if you do unpaid voluntary work or go on parental or paternity leave. Also, you qualify if you’re age 19 or younger, in full-time secondary education (including A levels) and one of the following:

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

You can also qualify up until the age of 21 if you’re one of the above, are orphaned or estranged from your parents and enrolled in education.

Use a benefits calculator to check your eligibility.

When you won’t qualify

You won’t usually qualify if you:

  • have savings above £16,000
  • need permission to enter the UK
  • get Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • are a young person being looked after by a local authority



4. How to claim

You can apply for Income Support:

Jobcentre Plus
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Welsh language: 0800 012 1888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

What you need to know

You can claim Income Support for yourself and your partner, if they haven’t already made a claim.

You need to provide details about your income, the income of any partner, where you live and who lives with you.

Tell JobCentre Plus about any change in your circumstances such as your address, income, savings or the people in your household.

Appeal a decision

You can appeal against the decision about your Income Support if you’re unhappy with it.

Check the date on your decision letter. There are different ways to appeal if your decision was made:

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