Income Support | What is Low Income Benefit

Updated 17 April 2017

What is Income Support?

Income Support is a 'top up' benefits payment for those on low incomes - or even no income in certain circumstances. The main circumstances to enable you claim the allowance, will be that you MUST BE between the ages of 16 and normal Pension Credit Qualifying Age..

It is a benefit for those considered to be on low earnings – or those who do not have any earnings whatever. How much you will get depends upon your particular circumstances, but if as an example you qualify for Income Support and have no earnings income at all, you will get at least £57.90 per week. There are other rates set out below.

You can also claim other benefits if you are getting Income Support – such as Child Tax Credit.

Qualifying for – Your Eligibility

You will need to qualify for Income Support. We set out the eligibility rules for all claims. Not everyone can claim. For instance, those on Jobseekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance will not normally be eligible to receive Income Support – neither will you be able to claim if you are on Universal Credit.

Eorried about Income support benefitsThe basic age qualifying criteria for Income Support is that you need to be at least 16 years old and under the Pension Credit qualifying age..

The information on this page does not apply to Northern Ireland, where the procedures and eligibility are different.

To Qualify for Income Support you must be ALL of the following

The basic things to qualify are that you are

You can also qualify to claim Income Support if you are in full time education – other than being at university – if you are between ages of 16 and 20 years and you are also one of the following.

You should still get Income Support up until the time your education course finishes if you are orphaned or estranged from your parents - and the course ends the same year that you turn 21.


You do not need a permanent address. It is still available if you are sleeping rough, or you live in a hostel or care home.

How Much will you get?

How much you get depends upon your own personal circumstances.

You must be 16 years or over – but under pension credit age.

You will get the following for Income Support payments:

The Personal allowance for IS – The basic income support rates

Status :     Age:     Weekly payment rates for Income Support Allowance

Higher rate of Income Support

You could get the higher rate if either of you are responsible for a child, or if each of you would be eligible for one of the following if you weren’t a couple:

You could also get an Income Support ‘premium’ allowance - this is extra money based on your circumstances, for example if:

There are also additional Disability Premium payments available based upon your level of Disability. There are certain qualifying Rules for Disability Premium Payments

Use a benefits calculator to work out how much you can get.

How you’re paid

Nnormally paid every two weeks

As with other benefits payments, it is paid only into your normal benefits payments account – such as bank, building society, credit union or other agreed account for payment of benefits.

You Will NOT Qualify if…

You will not receive income support if you are a young person who is being looked after by your local authority – unless you are a single parent

If there is a change in your personal circumstances, be sure to notify Jobcentre Plus without delay. This could be such things as your change of address; your income changing; the amount you have in savings; or the people living in your house – in or out!

If you do not report changes as soon as possible, you could be classed as committing a fraud, and at least having to pay back any undue benefits – or worse still being subject to a court case.

You may be able to get a Budgeting Loan to help with financing if you or your partner have been getting Income Support for at least 26 weeks:

All information resourced from the UK Government information Page

March 9th 2017
***Child Tax Credit - From April this year the ‘family element’ of £545 per year will be abolished.***

March 8th 2017
**MPs are calling for a halt to the accelerating roll-out of Universal Credit as the ongoing problems are causing undue and unnecessary hardship**

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