Eligibility conditions for Income Support

Income Support is extra money to help people on a low income. 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.
Income Support is a means-tested benefit available for people who are not working (or only working part-time) and who are not actively seeking work. 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.
If you are a lone parent or carer you may no longer be able to claim Income Support and may have to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance instead.
If you are making a new claim for Income Support because you are sick or disabled, or because you are pregnant, you may have to claim Employment and Support Allowance instead.

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
  • live in Great Britain
You may get Income Support if you are one of the following:
  • a lone parent with a youngest child of aged five and under
  • 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
You can claim Income Support for yourself and your partner. Jobcentre Plus will treat you as a couple if you live with:
  • your husband, wife or civil partner
  • someone as if they were your husband, wife or civil partner.

The benefit calculator

Please answer yes to this question if you meet the eligibility conditions for Income Support and want the calculator to work out your entitlement on this basis.

If you are not sure whether you qualify please answer yes and we will work out your benefit entitlements on this basis.

If you answer no but still wish to make a claim for benefit while you are not working (or only working part-time) then please select Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseekers Allowance.

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.