Who Can Claim Income Support?

Income Support provides extra money to people on a low income. This is specifically for people who aren’t signed on as unemployed. Your eligibility for Income Support and how much money you can get depends on your individual circumstances.

Who’s eligible for Income Support?

You must be at least 16 years old to receive Income Support.

You (and your partner, if you have one) must also meet the criteria listed below:

  • You have a low income or no income, and less than £16,000 in savings.
  • You don’t have full-time paid work (you can work up to 16 hours per week, and your partner can work up to 24 hours per week).
  • You’re not eligible for Job seeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.
  • You live in England, Scotland or Wales (different rules apply in Northern Ireland).

You’ll also need to meet at least one of these criteria:

  • You’re pregnant.
  • You’re a lone parent with a child under 5 (this includes lone foster or adoptive parents).
  • You’re a carer.
  • You’re on maternity, paternity or parental leave.
  • You can’t work and are receiving Statutory Sick Pay, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance (or you’re appealing a decision about work capability for these benefits).
  • You’re in full-time education (other than university), you’re aged between 16 and 20, and also a parent.
  • You’re in full-time education (other than university), you’re aged between 16 and 20, and you don’t live with a parent (or someone acting as a parent).
  • You’re a refugee learning English (your course must be at least 15 hours per week, and you must have started you course within 12 months of arriving in the UK).
  • You’re in custody or you’re due to attend court or a tribunal.




You don’t need a permanent address in order to be eligible for Income Support. For example, you can still make a claim if you sleep rough or live in a hotel or care home.

It’s worth using the benefits calculator to check whether you can get Income Support before you apply. It may be the case that you need to claim Universal Credit instead. Remember, you can’t claim Income Support and Universal Credit at the same time.

What if my circumstances change?

If your circumstances change, you must notify Jobcentre Plus as soon as possible. This includes changes to you address, income, savings, or the people who live in your household. If you don’t report a change, you could be committing benefit fraud. So it’s important to do make them straight away.

What do you get from Income Support?

If you’re eligible for Income Support, you get:

  • a basic payment (called a ‘personal allowance’)
  • extra payments (called ‘premiums’) – if your partner is a pensioner, or you’re disabled or a carer
  • If you qualify and have no income, you’ll get at least £57.90 a week. Your income and any savings you have will affect how much money you can receive through Income Support.

How is Income Support paid?

Usually, Income Support payments are made once every two weeks. The money will be paid into your bank account, building society or credit union account.

How do you claim Income Support?

You can claim Income Support (for yourself and your partner), provided they haven’t already made a claim. When you apply, you’ll need to have the following details to hand:

  • Your income
  • Your partner’s income
  • Where you live
  • Who lives with you

The quickest and easiest way to apply for Income Support is over the phone. You can also send an application in the post (here’s the claim form) – you’ll need to send it to your local Jobcentre Plus.

How do I contact Income Support?

Contact number for Income Support