What is it?
Income Support (IS) is an income-related benefit for certain categories of people who are not working or who work for less than 16 hours per week and do not have enough money to live on. Income Support is designed primarily to ensure, that people aged 16 or over (and their families) have enough money to meet their basic living costs when their own income fails to do so.
Basic qualifying conditions
To qualify for IS, you must:
- Be aged 16 years or over, and
- satisfy the Isle of Man residential condition
You will satisfy the Isle of Man (IOM) residential condition if:
- You were born in the IOM
- You have been ordinarily resident in the IOM for a continuous period of at least 5 years; or
- You have been ordinarily resident in the IOM for a number of periods which, when added together, amount to at least 10 years
You can satisfy the IOM residential condition in other circumstances too, for example if you are married to or are a civil partner of a person who satisfies any of the above.
The following are the main groups who may qualify for Income Support:
- A lone parent (with at least one child under the age of 12)
- A person who is incapable of work due to incapacity or disability
- A person who is caring for someone who is sick or disabled
- A woman who is, or has been pregnant, but income support is payable only for the period commencing 11 weeks before her expected week of confinement and ending 15 weeks after her pregnancy ends
- A student living away from their parents, but only in certain circumstances
- A person who has attained the qualifying age. This means:
- In the case of a woman, her state pension age
- In the case of a man, the age which is the state pension age of a woman born on the same day as the man
- A deaf student
- A person on parental or paternity leave from their employment and not receiving payment from their employer during that absence
People required to register for work as a condition of entitlement to benefit are not entitled to IS. Instead, they should claim Jobseeker's Allowance.
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.
How much could I get and how am I paid?
The amount of Income Support payable to 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.
Payment is made weekly and can be collected at a post office or by direct credit every 2 weeks into your bank or building society account.
How and when should I apply?
Use the claim form and return it to:
Social Security Division
+44 1624 685094 (under pension age) +44 1624 687020 (over pension age)
or the Ramsey office. A claim should be submitted as soon as possible as the backdating of a claim is not normally allowed.
Social Security can arrange a home visit to assist you to complete the claim form in certain circumstances.
A number of documents may be required when submitting a claim to Income Support:
- Your birth certificate
- Proof of how much rent, rates, mortgage interest, service charges or board and lodging charges are paid by you
- If you have more than £5,000 in savings and investments - proof of the amount is required
- Evidence of any other income received by you (this does not include any other social security benefit)
If you are unable to produce the required documents a claim should still be made and the necessary papers can be brought or sent in later.
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.
What else might I be able to claim?
Customers in receipt of Income Support may be able to get:
- free prescriptions
- free dental treatment
- vouchers to help with the cost of glasses
- free school meals
- help to assist with the cost of a funeral
- Budgeting Loans and Exceptional Needs Grants
- free TV licences
- help to assist with the expenses of a new baby
- help with the cost of children participating on Sports Development Schemes
- help with the cost of travelling to hospital for treatment
For further information on Income Support, please see downloadable documents.