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Income Support

Income Support is extra money to help people on a low income. It’s for people who don't have to sign on as unemployed. Whether you qualify or not and how much you get depends on your circumstances. Find out more, including who can get it.

Who can get Income Support

It's for people who all the following apply to:

  • are between age 16 and the age they can get Pension Credit
  • have a low income
  • work less than 16 hours a week
  • aren't in full-time study (but there are some exceptions)
  • don't get Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • don't have savings above £16,000
  • live in Great Britain

You may get Income Support if you are one of the following:

  • a lone parent
  • on parental or paternity leave
  • a carer
  • a refugee learning English who arrived less than a year ago

Young people in relevant education may also get Income Support. Generally this means full-time education up to GCE A-level or Scottish Certificate of Education (Higher level). This might apply if you:

  • are a lone parent
  • don't live with a parent or someone acting as a parent
  • are at serious risk of abuse or violence
  • are a refugee learning English

You can get Income Support as well as some other benefits.

Contact Jobcentre Plus to find out more.

Pension Credit

If you or your partner have a low income and have reached the minimum qualifying age, you may be entitled to Pension Credit.

Pension Credit tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level.

The minimum age you can get Pension Credit is rising in stages for men and women between April 2010 and 2020, from 60 to 65. It's linked to the changes to women's State Pension age.

Families and Income Support

You can claim Income Support for yourself and your partner.

Jobcentre Plus will treat you as a couple if you live with:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner
  • someone as if they were your husband, wife or civil partner

Jobcentre Plus call this other person your partner.

Income Support is no longer paid for children if you're making a new claim. To get money for children, you must now claim Child Tax Credit instead.

Only one person in a family can claim Income Support at any one time. There are several types of premiums (extra amounts) you may get based on your and your partner's circumstances. Contact Jobcentre Plus to find out more.

Lone parents and Income Support

There are changes to Income Support that may affect your entitlement if you're receiving it because you're a lone parent.

Working and Income Support

You can claim Income Support if you work less than 16 hours a week. But Jobcentre Plus will take into account some of the amount you earn when they assess your claim for benefit. The amount they ignore will depend on your circumstances.

You may also get Income Support if you're a disabled worker who earns less than someone in the same job without the same disability. Contact Jobcentre Plus to find out more.

Parental leave and Income Support

If you take unpaid parental leave, or paternity leave (paid or unpaid), you may get Income Support. You must meet all other conditions for getting Income Support, and be entitled to one of the following benefits:

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit (at a higher rate than the family element)

If you're not entitled to one of the benefits listed above and you take unpaid parental leave, you may still be able get Income Support.

Contact Jobcentre Plus to find out more.

Volunteering and Income Support

You can volunteer as long as you meet the conditions for getting Income Support.

If you volunteer, you must tell Jobcentre Plus. They will ask you to fill in a form.

As a volunteer, you may be paid some of your expenses, like travel costs for example. These aren't normally counted as income. You'll need to keep receipts for any payments you get, to prove these are for expenses only.

How to claim Income Support and how much you can get

Find out how you can claim Income Support and how much you might get.

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