Back to A-Z Help pages index

Income Support

Income Support

Please note:

If you are working age or in a couple where both are working age, you are no longer able to make a new claim for Income Support, unless you receive a Severe Disability Premium (SDP). 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 are a mixed age couple (one is working age and one is pension age), if you are not receiving Pension Credit and you want to make a new claim, you will need to claim Universal Credit. For further information see our 'mixed age couples' help page.

If you tell us you are currently receiving Income Support (or could still claim if you are getting an SDP) 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 if you are eligible. 

The information below remains for people who are still claiming Income Support.

What is it?

Income support is paid to certain people who are not expected to look for work. These include carers and certain lone parents. It is intended to provide for basic living expenses and can be paid on top of other benefits such as carer's allowance. You can also get money to help with mortgage payments.

Income Support is gradually being replaced by Universal Credit. If you have to make a claim for Universal Credit in your area then any help will be through the Personal Element of Universal Credit.

Can I claim Income Support?

Only certain people are allowed to claim income support. You may be able to get IS if you are:

  • entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • appealing against a decision that you are capable of work following a work capability assessment (WCA)
  • caring for someone and either you are getting Carer's Allowance, or the person you are looking after gets Attendance Allowance (AA) or constant Attendance Allowance, or the middle or highest rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component
  • a lone parent and responsible for a child under 5
  • pregnant and incapable of work because of your pregnancy or due to have your baby within the next 11 weeks or have had a baby within the last 15 weeks

Incapable of work changes

Before the introduction of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) on 27 October 2008 you could get Income Support if you were sick/disabled and unable to work. Existing claimants of Income Support on this basis should all have been moved over to ESA by March 2014, however, there are still some left awaiting assessment for ESA.

New claimants who are sick/disabled and unable to work will need to claim Employment and Support Allowance, unless they fit into one of the categories listed under 'Can I Claim Income Support?' shown above. For more information on Jobseekers's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance see information on Jobseeker's Allowance and information on Employment and Support Allowance.

The rules about Income Support are complicated, please contact the Jobcentre Plus to find out more on 0800 055 6688, lines are open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Welsh language: 0800 012 1888. In Northern ireland use the NIdirect website or call 0800 022 4250.

How much can I get?

The amount of Income Support you can get is made up of three different parts:

  • personal allowances
  • premiums
  • payments to cover certain housing costs

Personal Allowances

  • Single person aged 16-24 - £57.90
  • Single person aged 25 and over - £73.10
  • Lone parent aged under 18 - £57.90
  • Lone parent aged 18 and over - £73.10
  • Couple both aged 18 and over - £114.85

How do I claim?

Income Support is administered by JobCentre Plus. To claim call 0800 055 6688 (8am - 6pm Monday to Friday) Welsh language: 0800 012 1888. A textphone service is available on 0800 023 4888.

For customers in Northern ireland claim details are on the NIdirect website.

Other entitlements if you are awarded Income Support

Getting Income Support may entitle you to other types of benefit:

  • free prescriptions and dental treatment
  • housing grants
  • help from the social fund
  • free school meals
  • help with hospital fares

Third Party Deductions

When you claim Income Support you can pay for bills and debt directly from your benefit. This is called a Third Party Deduction, to find out more about this see Third Party Deductions.