Income Support

Eligibility

Income Support can help you cover your costs if you’re on a low income. It’s being replaced by Universal Credit.

Apply for Universal Credit instead if you either:

  • have less than 3 children
  • received Universal Credit in the last 6 months but stopped getting it because your earnings increased

You cannot get Income Support and Universal Credit at the same time.

Who can apply

To be eligible for Income Support, all of the following must apply to you (and your partner if you have one):

  • you have 3 or more children
  • you have no income or a low income, and no more than £16,000 in savings
  • you’re not in full-time paid work (you can work less than 16 hours a week, and your partner can work less than 24 hours a week)
  • you’re not eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • you live in England, Scotland or Wales - there are different rules for Northern Ireland

You must also be between 16 and Pension Credit qualifying age, and at least one of the following:

  • pregnant
  • a lone parent (including a lone adoptive parent) with a child under 5
  • a lone foster parent with a child under 16
  • a single person looking after a child under 16 before they’re adopted
  • a carer
  • on maternity, paternity or parental leave
  • unable to work and you receive Statutory Sick Pay, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • in full-time education (not university), aged between 16 and 20, and a parent
  • in full-time education (not university), aged between 16 and 20, and not living with a parent or someone acting as a parent
  • a refugee learning English - your course needs to be at least 15 hours a week, and you must have started it within 12 months of entering the UK
  • in custody or due to attend court or a tribunal

You do not need a permanent address - for example, you can still claim if you:

  • sleep rough
  • live in a hostel or care home