Income Support

What is it?

Income support is an income-related social security benefit which is available to certain people who are either not working, or who work for less than 16 hours a week, and who don't have enough money to live on. It ensures they have enough money to meet their basic needs.

Basic Qualifying Conditions

To qualify for income support you must:

  • Be aged 16 or over
  • Satisfy the Isle of Man residential condition (though in exceptional circumstances you may get income support even if you don’t satisfy the Isle of Man residential condition)

You will satisfy the Isle of Man residential condition if:

  • You were born in the Isle of Man (IoM)
  • You have been ordinarily resident in the IoM for a continuous period of 5 years at any time
  • You have been ordinarily resident in the IoM for a number of separate periods which, when added together, amount to at least 10 years
  • You are married to or a civil partner of a person who meets any of the above

The following are the main groups of people who may qualify for income support:

  • A person who has reached state pension age
  • A person who is incapable of work due to illness or disability
  • A person who cares for a disabled person full-time
  • A lone parent who is responsible for at least one child aged under 12 years
  • A lone parent who is getting bereavement support payment and is responsible for at least one child of any age
  • A woman who is or has been pregnant, but only for the period commencing 11 weeks before she expects to give birth and ending 15 weeks after she gives birth (or her pregnancy ends for another reason)
  • A person on parental or paternity leave from their employment who is not being paid by their employer whilst they’re off work
  • A student living away from their parents (but only in limited circumstances)
  • A deaf student

A person who doesn’t match any of the above and who is available and looking for work should claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Working whilst claiming Income Support 

Income Support is not normally payable to you if you work for 16 or more hours a week, or if you have a partner who works for 24 or more hours a week. 
However, if you work for 16 hours or more (or your partner works for 24 hours or more) a week, you may still be able to get benefit if, for example, the person who works: 

  • is caring for another person
  • is a part-time fire-fighter, an auxiliary coastguard, a lifeboat man or a member of the Territorial 
  • Army or another reserve force or 
  • is employed by a charity or voluntary organisation and is only paid expenses for that work

If you are not entitled to Income Support because of the hours you or your partner work, you may be able to get Employed Person's Allowance instead. 

How much could I get?

The amount of income support which can been paid to you is the difference between the amount the law says to need to live on, including any housing costs you may have, and the amount of money (if any) you already have coming in.

How will I be paid?

If you are entitled to income support you can either collect your cash at a post office using a MiCard or by direct credit into your bank or building society account.

How and when should I apply?

Complete a claim form (A2 - Income Support Claim Form if you have not already reached state pension age, or an E2 - Income Support for Pensioners Claim Form if you have) and take or send it to either:

Income Support Team

Social Security Division

Markwell House

Market Street

Douglas

IM1 2RZ

Telephone:+44 1624 685094

Email:Send Email

Income Support (Pensioners) Team

Social Security Division

Markwell House

Market Street

Douglas

IM1 2RZ

Telephone:+44 1624 687020

Email:Send Email

or at our Ramsey office.

You should make your claim as soon as you think you may be entitled. If you wait you could lose money you might otherwise be entitled to.

If you can’t get to a Social Security office we can arrange to visit you at home and help you with making your claim.

We may need to see a number of documents to support your claim, such as:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Proof of how much rent, rates, mortgage interest, service charges or lodging charges you have to pay
  • Bank or building society statements or proof of any other savings, investments, land or property you have
  • Proof of any other money you have coming in, for example an occupational (or 'works') pension or a personal pension

Don’t delay making your claim because you don’t have all the documents to hand. You can bring or send them to us later.

Changes in your circumstances

We’ll work out how much income support you’re entitled to from the information you give us. If any of this information changes you must tell the Income Support Team straightaway, before collecting any further payments. If you think there is something you may need to tell us about but aren’t sure, tell us anyway.

Work focused conversations

If you get income support and you haven’t reached state pension age, you and your partner (if you have one) may be required to take part in work-focused conversations as a condition of you getting the full amount of income support.

What else might I be able to claim?

If you’re awarded income support you, and your partner and children, may also be able to get:

  • Exceptional Needs Grants or Budgeting Loans
  • Help with the expenses of a new baby or adopting a child
  • Help with paying for your TV licence (but only if you have reached state pension age)
  • Free NHS prescriptions
  • Free NHS dental treatment
  • Vouchers to help with the cost of glasses
  • Help with the cost of travelling to hospital for treatment
  • Free school meals and transport to and from school
  • Help with the cost of enrolling onto Sports Development Schemes

Where can I get more information?

Download the documents at the top right hand side of this page.

Changes for lone parents whose youngest or only child is aged 6 or over

The Treasury Minister announced on 16 February 2021 that the changes which were due to come into effect on 8 April 2021 have been postponed for 12 months. This is to allow time for the local economy to recover and consequently for more job opportunities to be created. They will now come into effect on 7 April 2022.

The changes mean that you will only be able to claim income support solely on the basis that you are a lone parent if you are responsible for a child under 6 years of age.

If you are currently getting income support on the basis that you are a lone parent and your youngest or only child is aged 6 or over, or is approaching age 6, you should have been contacted by a Jobcentre employment adviser to discuss what these changes mean for you.

Please contact the Jobcentre as soon as possible if they haven't been in touch with you. 

You can call the JobCentre on +44 1624 687014 or email them at jobcentre@gov.im