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Benefits Guides

Benefits Guides

You are here: Benefits Guides  |  Income Support

Income Support

What is it?

Income Support is a weekly benefit, which is meant to bring a persons household income up to the level which they and their family need to live on, provided they nor their partner are working full-time. If they are able to work or are signing on then the equivalent benefit is Income Based Jobseekers Allowance which is worked out in much the same way as Income Support. Common Income Support Amounts Here.

How to qualify for Income Support

The applicant must be

1 living and resident in the U.K.

2 be 16 or over and under Pension Age

3 not be doing 16 or more hours of paid work, per week, (if you have a partner then they must not be doing 24 hours or more paid work per week) there are many people who are allowed to work over these hours and remain entitled to Income Support, Carers, Disabled, Childminders, etc seek advice.

4 not be in full-time education, again many exceptions to this rule, e.g. Lone parents, Disabled, etc, seek advice.

5 not be on strike

6 not have over £16,000 in capital (this includes, savings, investments, and property that is not the main home, some property can be ignored, seek advice,)

7 have income of less than their needs.

As well as all of the above the claimant must fit into at least one of the following.

1 be unfit for work due to illness or disability (existing claims pre Oct 2008)

Or

2 be a lone parent, responsible for a child under 5 from October 2011, and have no partner.

Or

3 caring for a person who has or has claimed the middle or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance or PIP Daily Living Component.

If the applicant does not fit into any one of the above situations that would stop them being available for work, then they should claim Jobseekers Allowance instead.

If you are part of a couple and you do not fit into any of the above situations but your partner does then you could consider letting your partner become the claimant, Seek Advice.

How to work out your entitlement

The amount of your Income Support entitlement depends on your income and capital, whether you have a partner or children, your ages, whether anyone in your family has a disability, or is a carer, and if you have certain eligible Housing costs.

Set amounts are used for different needs, and are added together to reach the amount the law says you need to live on (your applicable amount). Any income, worked out under Income Support rules, is deducted from your applicable amount. This will leave the amount of Income Support you are entitled to receive.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. I am a lone parent with four children aged 14, 12, 7, and 3,  I work part time earning £88 weekly for working 12 hours, I also have Child Tax Credits at £240 weekly and Child Support from my ex-partner at £200 weekly can I get Income Support? I also pay full rent at £95 weekly and Full Council Tax at £20 weekly

A. You are now allowed Income Support as any Child Support or Child Maintenance is now fully ignored by Income Support.

Your are due £92.40 weekly

Less your earnings £88 weekly

So your due £4.20 weekly Income Support. This new Income Support claim will also get you full help with your Rent and Council Tax as well as many other passport benefits that go with any Income Support claim.

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Q. I am off work sick, and only have Statutory Sick Pay of £87.55 weekly, I have a partner who does not work, and two children aged 6 + 13, other income is Child Tax Credits, and £2,000 in savings, which are going down as we have £60 weekly rent to pay. Can I claim Income Support?

A. You are eligible for Income Support, as you are unfit for work; your applicable amount will be made up as follows.

Personal allowance (couple rate) £113.70

This is your weekly applicable amount £113.70

Less income

Statutory Sick Pay £87.55

Total Income Support payable = £113.70 - income £87.55 = £26.15 weekly payable.

As you have under £6,000 in savings they will be ignored in the calculation, claim on 0800 0 55 66 88 or on form A1 from your local job-centre+ office, this claim form also includes Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit claim forms.

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Q. I am a lone parent, and only earn £105 per week for working 17 hours; I have three children, and have been told at my local Benefits Agency that I am not entitled to Income Support.

A. This is correct as you are now working over 16 hour per week, you should be claiming Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits to top up your low wages backdated to when you started working, your entitlement could be about £220 per week, Tax Credits could give entitlement to other benefits.

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Q. I am a single female aged 63, I have little income, and no savings, my retirement pension is £67.80 weekly and I have a small occupational pension of £52.20 weekly, I own my house (no mortgage), and pay full Council Tax Benefit can I claim any other help?

A. Yes, you can claim Pension Credit as you are over the normal retirement age (See note below), but not Income Support as its for people under the State Pension Age for women, as you are over Pensionable age, and have less income than you need to live on.

Your applicable amount will be.

Personal allowance (single person) £148.35

This is your weekly applicable amount £148.35

Less your income

Retirement pension £67.80
Occupational pension £52.20

Total Pension Credit payable = £148.35 weekly - less weekly income £120 = £28.35 weekly Pension Credit payable

Claims can be backdated for three months or from when you turned Pensionable age, form available by phoning 0800 99 1234, this also has claim forms for Council Tax Benefit.

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Q. I have been told to sign on for Jobseekers Allowance , as I have been found fit for work by the Benefits Agency, following an examination by their health care professional. I had been on Income Support and Incapacity Benefit up until then, they then gave me the Employment Support Allowance test, I do not feel that I am fit enough to sign on as available for work. Can you help?

A. You could sign on as available for work, and you would receive the allowance for a single person, (£72.40) or you could ask the DWP to look again at the decision this is called a mandatory reconsideration (MR), if following this MR the decision is unchanged you can appeal it and go back onto ESA pending the appeal and get £72.40 weekly until the appeal is held, you will get full arrears of all benefit due to you if you are successful at the appeal.

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Q. My husband has been sacked from his job, he is worried about signing on, as he feels that his Income Based Jobseekers Allowance will be reduced because he was sacked, we have two children, ages, 7 and 10, the youngest child has Disability Living Allowance, middle rate care component, due to asthma, I have Carers Allowance for looking after him, and Child Benefit, can you advise?

A. Any Jobseekers sanction is not automatic when you are dismissed from a job, however to be safe, we suggest that you become the claimant for the family. As you are a carer, you do not have to be available for work, and are eligible for Income Support. This will stop any chance of a sanction, and as there is no three day waiting period for Income Support, it will become payable from date of claiming. Your amount will be made up as follows.

Personal allowance (couple rate) £113.70
Due to Carers Allowance (carer premium) £34.20

This is your families weekly applicable amount £147.90

Less your weekly income
(Carers Allowance) £61.35

Total Income Support payable = £147.90 weekly - less weekly income £61.35 = £86.55 weekly IS due

Your son's Disability Living Allowance will be ignored. They will insist that you claim Child Tax Credits for the child additions previously paid in old Income Support claims.

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Q. I am a lone parent on Income Support, how much can I earn before it effects my Income Support?

A. You are allowed to earn up to £20 per week before it will effect your Income Support, let the local Benefits Agency know that you are working, and earning, just in-case someone else does it for you.

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Q. My son will be 16 in two months time, he will be going into special needs fifth year after the summer, he has high rate mobility and middle rate care components of Disability Living Allowance, I only have Child Benefit for him and basic Child Tax Credits weekly, my partner works full-time, is he able to claim any other benefits at age 16?

A. Yes if he can get a sick-line from his Doctor and as he has DLA, you would have to give up Child Benefit for him, then he will be eligible for Employment Support Allowance at 16 in his own right while in full-time non advanced education, he could receive over £100 weekly, his Disability Living Allowance will be ignored in the calculation. You should also claim Carers Allowance for looking after him, this is £61.35 weekly, and you can backdate this claim three months.

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Q. I am a single person aged 30, I struggle but manage to work for 17 hours per week, and earn £100 per week, I have low rate care component (£21.55) and low rate mobility component (£21.55) of Disability Living Allowance, I pay full rent of £60 weekly, can I claim Income Support?

A. You would be better claiming and backdating 1 month a claim to Working Tax Credits, You should get about £90 weekly, you should also claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

Note:

The age that men and women can still claim Income Support is getting higher and is linked to the age a woman can start to get their Old Age Pension, check Here to find this date.

This also means that men and women are unable to get Pension Credit at 60 any longer they will both have to wait until the date a woman would be able to get her old age pension after she turns 60. Check Here for this date using your date of birth.

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