Income Support is a means tested benefit (affected by the amount of income and by the savings you have) for people on a low income.

You do not need to have paid any national insurance contributions. It can be paid on its own if you have no other income, or it can top up other benefits or earning from part-time work.

If you are making a claim for Income Support and you have children, you should claim Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit as well.

Income Support is being replaced by Universal Credit.

Am I eligible for Income Support?

You can only apply for Income support if you either:

  • get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it
  • got or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and are still eligible for it

And, all of the following must also apply to you (and your partner if you have one):

  • you have no income or a low income, and no more than £16,000 in savings
  • you're not in full-time paid work (you can work less than 16 hours a week, and your partner can work less than 24 hours a week)
  • you're not eligible for Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • you live in England, Scotland or Wales - there are different rules for Northern Ireland

You must also be between 16 and Pension Credit qualifying age, and at least one of the following applies:

  • pregnant (within 11 weeks of EDC)
  • a lone parent (including a lone adoptive parent) with a child under 5
  • a lone parent under the age of 18
  • a lone foster parent with a child under 16
  • a single person looking after a child under 16 before they're adopted
  • a carer
  • on maternity, paternity or parental leave
  • unable to work and you receive Statutory Sick Pay, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • in full-time non advanced education, aged 16 -19, and a parent
  • in full-time non advanced education aged 16 -19, and not living with a parent or someone acting as a parent
  • a refugee learning English - your course needs to be at least 15 hours a week, and you must have started it within 12 months of entering the UK
  • in custody or due to attend court or a tribunal – to cover housing costs only

You do not need a permanent address - for example, you can still claim if you:

  • sleep rough
  • live in a hostel or care home

How much Income Support will I get?

You will get:

  • a basic payment (personal allowance)
  • extra payments (premiums) with specific qualifying conditions

More information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Your income and any savings (over £5,999) can affect how much you get.

Use the benefits calculator to find out how much Income Support you may be entitled to.

How do I claim?

The quickest way to apply for Income Support is by phone:

Jobcentre Plus - new claims

You can also apply by post by downloading and sending a claim form to your local Jobcentre Plus.

You'll need to give details about:

  • your income
  • the income of any partner
  • where you live
  • who lives with you