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Eligibility conditions for Income Support

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 claim, you will need to claim Universal Credit instead. You may also need to claim Universal Credit if you experience a change in circumstances.

If you tell us you are currently receiving Income Support we will work out how much you should be entitled to. So you can see how moving to Universal Credit could affect your entitlements we will also show what you might be entitled to under Universal Credit on the results page.

This guide remains for people who are still claiming Income Support.

What is it?

Income Support is extra money to help people on a low income who are not working (or only working part-time). It’s for people who don't have to sign on as unemployed. Whether you qualify or not and how much you get depends on your circumstances.

The government determines which kind of people it expects to be actively seeking work and which not. People who the government thinks should be actively seeking work have to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance rather than Income Support.

Please get more information on Income Support rules as they apply to you:

Who can get Income Support

It's for people who all the following apply to:

  • are between age 16 and the age they can get Pension Credit
  • have a low income
  • work less than 16 hours a week, depending on the amount of your wage
  • aren't in full-time study (but there are some exceptions)
  • don't get Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • don't have savings above £16,000

You may get Income Support if you are one of the following:

  • a lone parent with a young child
  • on parental or paternity leave
  • a carer
  • a refugee learning English who arrived less than a year ago

Young people in relevant education may also get Income Support. Generally this means full-time education up to GCE A-level or Scottish Certificate of Education (Higher level). This might apply if you:

  • are a parent
  • don't live with a parent or someone acting as a parent
  • are at serious risk of abuse or violence
  • are a refugee learning English

The rules about who can get Income Support are complicated. To see the full guidance provided to advisers see DWP's technical guidance on Income Support.

Income Support rates

Benefit rates and the means test are identical for Income Support and Jobseekers Allowance.

The amount of Income Support you will receive depends on your circumstances, your income and your savings. Please continue through the calculator for an estimate.

If you receive Income Support you may be able to get help with the cost of your mortgage and other home loans. For more information see help with housing costs.