Skip to Content
Back to A-Z Help pages index

Income Support rules - other people who qualify

Please note: You are no longer able to make a new claim for Income Support. In most cases, if you want to make a new benefits claim, you will need to claim Universal Credit instead. You may also need to claim Universal Credit if you experience a change in circumstances. This guide remains for people who are still claiming Income Support.

What is it?

Others who can apply for Income Support

Childcare responsibility

  • You are a lone parent and responsible for a child under 5 who is a member of your household.
  • You are single or a lone parent and are fostering a child under 16 through a local authority or voluntary organisation or are looking after a child placed with you by an adoption agency prior to adoption.
  • You are looking after a child under 16 because the child’s parent, or the person who usually looks after the child, is temporarily ill or away from their home.
  • You are taking unpaid parental leave to look after a child who lives with you. You must have been entitled to housing benefit (HB), council tax benefit (CTB), working tax credit (WTC) or child tax credit (CTC – more than just the family element) on the day before your leave began.
  • You are taking paternity leave and you do not receive statutory paternity pay or any payment from your employer, and/or you were entitled to HB, CTB, WTC or CTC (more than just the family element) on the day before your leave began.
  • Your partner is temporarily outside the UK and you are responsible for a child under 16 who is a member of your household.

Education and training

  • You are a ‘qualifying young person’ and in one of the categories not excluded from Income Support.
  • You are under 21, have no parents or are living away from your parents and are undertaking a full-time non-advanced course that you started (or were accepted to attend or enrolled on) before your 19th birthday.
  • You are a refugee and start attending an English course for over 15 hours a week during your first year in Great Britain (to help you obtain employment; you are eligible under this category for 9 months only.
  • You are on Work-Based Learning for Young People.


  • entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • appealing against a decision that you are capable of work following a work capability assessment (WCA)


  • You have started work and are eligible for the first four weeks of housing costs run-on.
  • You are required to attend a court or tribunal as a JP, juror, witness, defendant or plaintiff.
  • You are held to be involved in a trade dispute.
  • You are remanded or committed in custody for a trial or sentencing (but you can only get Income Support to cover housing costs).