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Income Support


Income Support helps people who don’t have enough money to live on. It’s only available for certain groups of people, so find out if you’re eligible to make a new claim, and what you could claim as an alternative if not.


What is Income Support?

Income Support is extra money for people on a low income who are either unable to work or don’t work many hours.

It’s now only available for certain groups of people and has mainly been replaced by Universal Credit. Some people on Income support will need to claim Universal Credit instead if they have a certain change of circumstance.

Who can claim Income Support?

Most people are no longer able to make a claim for Income Support. You can only make a new claim if:

  • a severe disability premium has been added to one of your benefits or
  • you’re entitled to a severe disability premium or
  • you were entitled to the severe disability premium in the past month, and are still eligible for it.

Then all the following must also apply to you:

  • you’re of working age (over 16 and under State Pension age)
  • you have no income or a low income
  • you work fewer than 16 hours a week. If you have a partner, they must work fewer than 24 hours a week
  • you have £16,000 or less in savings.

You must also be in a category of people who don’t have to look for work, which includes carers. This means you claim Carer’s Allowance or you look after someone who receives either:

  • the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance.

You can see a full list of who is eligible on the GOV.UK website


You can’t get Income Support if you (or a partner included in your claim) already claim income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or Universal Credit.

If you qualify, you’ll get a basic payment, called a personal allowance, and extra payments known as premiums. If you’re a carer, you could receive the carer premium. You could also get a premium if you’re disabled or if your partner is a pensioner.

You may also qualify for help with certain housing costs. What you can get depends on whether you rent or own your home, and whether you pay service charges and ground rent.

Your income and any savings of over £6000 can affect how much you may be entitled to. For more details, visit this page or this page if you live in Northern Ireland.

In England, Wales and Scotland, you can call Jobcentre Plus on 0800 169 0350 or download a claim form from

In Northern Ireland, contact your local Jobs and Benefits Office or download a claim form from NI Direct.

Ask for alternative formats, such as braille, large print or audio CD if you need them.

Tell the relevant benefits office if your circumstances change. In England, Wales and Scotland, call Jobcentre Plus on 0800 169 0310 or write to the Jobcentre Plus office that pays your Income Support (their address is on the letters you receive about it).

In Northern Ireland, tell your Jobs and Benefits Office.

Start by asking for a mandatory reconsideration. This means the decision maker has to look again at the decision they made. If you still disagree with the outcome after this, you can make an appeal. Find out more in our guide to challenging a benefit decision.

If you can’t claim Income Support, you could look into claiming Universal Credit.

Did you make a claim because of a disability or health condition on or after 31 January 2011?

If you or somebody you know made a claim for Income Support on or after 31 January 2011 because of a disability or health condition, there is a chance that you may be entitled to a special payment.  See the page for more details. You can also email for more guidance. 

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