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Income Support

Income Support Team

Social Security Division

Markwell House

Market Street



Telephone:+44 1624 685094

Email:Send Email

Income Support (IS) is an income-related benefit to ensure that certain people aged 16 or over (and their families) have enough money to meet their basic living costs.

You may be eligible:

  • if you are not working or
  • you work for less than 16 hours per week and do not have enough money to live on

The amount of Income Support we pay you is the difference between the amount the law says you need to live on, and the amount of money you already have coming in.

Basic qualifying conditions

To qualify for Income Support, you must be both:

You may qualify for Income Support: if you are a:

  • person who has reached state pension age
  • lone parent (with at least one child under the age of 12)
  • person who is incapable of work due to incapacity or disability
  • person who is caring for someone who is sick or disabled
  • woman who is, or has been pregnant, but income support is payable only for the period starting 11 weeks before her expected week of confinement and ending 15 weeks after her pregnancy ends
  • student living away from their parents, but only in certain circumstances
  • person who has attained the qualifying age. For both men and women this is the state pension age of a woman
  • deaf student
  • person on parental or paternity leave from their employment and not receiving payment from their employer during that absence

If you don't meet any of the above conditions and you are fit and available to work you should claim Jobseeker's Allowance.

Work-focused conversations

If you are claiming income support you (and any partner you have) can be required to take part in work-focused conversations as a condition for you retaining your full benefit.

Applying for Income Support

Submit your completed claim form to us as soon as possible as the backdating of a claim is not normally allowed. If you need more help, we can arrange a home visit to help you complete the claim form

We will ask you for some documentary evidence when you submit a claim for Income Support:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Proof of how much rent, rates, mortgage interest, service charges or board and lodging charges you pay
  • Proof of the amount of your savings and investments if you have more than £5,000 in savings and investments
  • Evidence of any other income not including any other social security benefit

If you are unable to produce these documents you should still submit your claim as soon as you can and send them to us at a later date.

Changes in your circumstances

Your benefit will be worked out from the information you give us. If any of this information changes, you must tell the Income Support Team before collecting any further payments. If you think there is something we might need to know, but are unsure, tell us anyway.

If you receive Income Support you may also be able to get:


Payment can be collected on a Micard at a post office, or paid into your bank or building society account.

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