What Is Income Support? Benefits

An Introduction to Income Support

Income Support is a benefit to help people with low incomes or no income at all. Income Support has now been replaced by Universal Credit in many circumstances. However, you may still be entitled to it under certain conditions. Read on to find out more.

Am I entitled to Income Support?

There are a number of criteria that you must meet to qualify for Income Support. First of all, you must be entitled to the severe disability premium, have already received it, or be entitled to it in the last month and still be eligible for it.

From there, you and your partner must also fit the following criteria

  • Have no income, a low income or no more savings than £16,000
  • You aren’t in full-time paid work
  • You’re not eligible for Job Seekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • You live in England, Scotland or Wales
  • You must be between 16 and Pension Credit Qualifying Age

When considering your partner, this refers to any partner that you live with who is your husband, wife, civil partner or a person that you live with as if you are married or in a civil partnership.

Finally, you must be at least one of the following

  • Pregnant
  • A lone parent (or adopted parent) with a child under the age of 5
  • A lone foster parent with a child under the age of 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 receiving Statuory Sick Pay, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • In full-time education (excluding university), aged between 16 and 20 and a parent
  • In full-time education (excluding university), aged between 16 and 20 and not living with a parent or someone acting as a parent
  • A refugee learning English. However, the course must 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

Can I work at all and still qualify for Income Support?

Although you can’t work full-time and receive Income Support, you can still work. In order to still qualify, you can work less than 16 hours a week and if you have a partner, they can work less than 24 hours a week.

How much do I get through Income Support?

How much you will get is dependent on your income and any savings above £5,999. What you receive will be made up of a personal allowance and if you qualify for it, a premium.

The monthly personal allowance is as follows:

  • Single (Aged 16-24) – £58.90
  • Single (Aged 25 or over) – £74.35
  • Lone Parent (Aged 16 -17) – £58.90
  • Lone Parent (Age 18 or over) – £74.35
  • Couples (Both under 18) – £58.90
  • Couples (Both under 18 getting ‘higher rate’) – £89.00
  • Couples (One under 18, the other 18 – 24) – £58.90
  • Couples (One under 18, the other 25 or over) – £74.35
  • Couples (One under 18, one over getting ‘higher rate’) – £116.80
  • Couples (both 18 or over) £116.80

What is the higher rate?

You may have noticed that some of the allowances include a ‘higher rate’. You could be eligible for this if either of you, or your partner is responsible for a child. You could also be eligible if one of you or your partner would be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance if you weren’t together.

If you’re a carer, disabled or have a partner that’s a pensioner, you could also receive a premium. However, you must be aware of the benefit cap. This applies to most people that are aged 16 or over and haven’t reached State Pension age and can affect the total amount that you receive from benefits.

How will I be paid?

You will usually receive your Income Support payments every two weeks and they will be paid into your bank account, credit union account, or building society account provided.

How to Apply?

The quickest way to apply for Income Support would be by using the phone. However, you can also apply by post by sending a claim form to your local Jobcentre Plus. Details to submit a claim can be found on the Government website.

If you have any further questions or are unsure whether to claim Income Support or any other benefits that may be available to you, Building Better Opportunities can help. Contact us today or find your nearest Work Club. We are a lottery-funded organisation that is dedicated to supporting individuals, couples and families across Stafford and South Staffordshire with their finances, employment status and their health and wellbeing.