INCOME SUPPORT

What is Income Support?

Income support is a means tested Social Security Benefit and provides a weekly cash sum to top up a claimant to a minimum level as prescribed each year by the Secretary of State. It also operates as a passport to other benefits such as free dental treatment, free prescriptions, vouchers for spectacles, maximum Housing Benefit for Rent and Council Tax Benefit.

Income Support is available to people who are not in full time work and are not required to sign on as available for work e.g people who are over 60, incapable of work through sickness or disability, people bringing up children on their own and people who are unable to work because they are caring for a disabled person.

You cannot normally get Income Support if you are working on average 16 hours or more a week or if your partner works less 24 hours per week. You can get Income Support on top of other benefits or on top of your earnings from part time work.

BASIC RULES FOR CLAIMING INCOME SUPPORT ARE

  • Claimant must live in the UK
  • Claimant aged under 60 must have less than £8,000 in savings, investment and capital.
  • A person in full time higher education is not normally able to claim Income Support although this rule does not apply if the claimant’s over 60.
  • Single parents with dependant children under the age of 16.
  • People receiving Invalid Care Allowance to look after a disabled person or carer’s looking after a person receiving Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance paid at the middle or higher rate for attendance needs.
  • People on strike can claim Income Support but will only be allowed an amount for their dependants and this will be at the reduced rate.

HOW TO CLAIM

Contact your local Job centre Plus on 0800 055 6688 and follow the recorded instructions. You must answer all the questions on the claim form that apply to you and your partner, if you have one.  It is important that you answer all the questions that apply to you, and make sure you provide all the documents we ask for.

You have a calendar month, up to the second date on the front of the form, to fill in the form correctly without affecting the benefit.

During the telephone call if you need help claiming housing and/or council tax benefits then please ask the benefits advisor for help.

Benefits will be paid from the date of issue.  Claimants will also be required to provide evidence of their own and  partners National Insurance  Numbers, birth certificate as proof of id and a recent utility bill as proof of residency.  These must be originals, which can be taken into your local benefits agency that will photocopy them and return them immediately, or you made be asked to post these to the benefit agency.