Income Support is a benefit for people on low incomes who do not earn enough money to meet the Government’s set minimum. It can be complicated and difficult to work out whether you qualify for the payment. But if you are getting some level of Income Support payment, it can open the door to other kinds of benefit payment. It might be worth claiming Income Support because of the access to different benefit payments.
Getting Extra Benefits
The way to other benefits such as Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit can be opened up when you receive Income Support. There is also help available for health costs. Income Support beneficiaries can get free NHS dental treatment, free prescriptions and vouchers for eye glasses. Their children can get free school meals. Loans and grants from the Social Fund might also be available. It might be worth claiming Income Support, even if the financial payment is small, simply to gain access to further benefits. A quick call to the Income Support phone number is the first port of call.
Who qualifies for Income Support?
To get Income Support you must meet all the specific criteria. You can get it if you have a low income, below what the Government considers necessary to support yourself and any family, or no income. You have to be working less than 16 hours a week. You are not allowed to sign on as an unemployed person and be looking for work. Any savings you have must be less than £16,000.
How much can I get?
The actual payment will depend on your individual circumstances. If you have no income, or a low income, it could be £56.80 a week. the amount will vary according to your individual circumstances. If you have a child or children you can also claim Child Tax Credit. There are other qualifications. Claimants must be aged between 16 years old and the qualifying age for Pension Credit, which is 60. (If you are over 60 it is advisable to apply for Pension Credit rather than Income Support). To find out whether or not you qualify, the Income Support phone number is a good place to start.
You must not be a job-seeker
People on Job-seekers allowance cannot claim Income Support. It can still be claimed if you don’t have a permanent address. If you are living in a care home or hostel or are sleeping rough you can still make a claim. People who are on paternity or parental leave or doing unpaid volunteer work might be able to qualify.
A non-contributory payment
Income Support is means-tested. Money you may have, such as savings, is taken into account. It will not be paid just because your income is low. The income must be below a certain level. But it is a non-contributory benefit. Claimants do not need to have paid national insurance, but they will need to have a national insurance number to be able to claim.
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