What is the best helpline number for Income Support?

*This website advises that calls to 084 numbers cost 7p/min plus your phone provider’s access charge.

Income Support is a benefit intended to support people on very low incomes, or with no incomes at all, who are living in certain circumstances which make it very difficult to earn enough money to live on.

How to Apply for Income Support?

There are 5 criteria which you must meet all of to be able to claim Income Support:

• You need to be of working age (between 16 and pensionable age)
• Pregnant, a single parent with a child under 5, or a carer for a sick or disabled person – or sometimes a sick or disabled person yourself
• You (and your partner if you have one) have no or a very small income and savings less than £16,000
• You work less than 16 hours a week, and your partner if you have one works less than 24 hours a week
• You live in Scotland, England or Wales

Alternatively, you can also qualify for Income Support if you are aged 16-20, in full-time education, and one of the below:

• You are a parent
• You are not living with a parent or guardian
• You are a refugee learning English

You do not need a permanent address to claim Income Support – you can claim it if you are street homeless, or living in a homeless hostel. You cannot receive Income Support if you receive Universal Credit, and you are not likely to be awarded it if you already receive JSA or ESA. If you would like to find out more about qualifying you can call the Income Support number listed above.

How Can I Make A Claim for Income Support?

You can make a claim for Income Support by calling the JobCentre Plus line 6am-12pm, Monday to Sunday. You can also make a claim by Textphone if you are Deaf or hard-of-hearing, and the service is available in the Welsh language as well as in English.

When you contact Income Support to open your claim, you will need to have to hand:

• Your National Insurance Number
• Your date of birth
• Details of your income, and your partner’s income if you have one
• Your address, including postcode, and your phone or mobile phone number
• Details about your household and who lives there

It is also very important that you call the JobCentre Plus to notify them as soon as possible if your circumstances change in any way, especially if you get a job or if the number of people in your household changes. If you do not report changes like this, then you could be committing benefit fraud.

FAQs

Does my partner need to make a separate claim for Income Support?

No; you can claim for yourself and your partner at the same time as long as they have not made a claim already.

What do I do if I disagree with a decision made about my benefit?

You need to ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration of the decision from the DWP. If the decision is upheld and you still disagree with it, you can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. Contact Income Support to find out more about this process.

If I am awarded Income Support, how will I be paid?

Income Support will be paid directly into your bank or building society account every fortnight. If you are claiming as a couple, you will need to nominate an account for the payment to go into when you make your claim. When you call the Income Support phone number ensure you ask for more details about this process.

What is ‘Income Support’?

‘Income Support’ is a financial benefit provided by the government for individuals on a low income.

What criteria do I need to meet to be eligible for Income Support?

There is a list of criteria which must be met to be eligible for Income Support. At the time of writing, individuals must either be pregnant, a parent with a child under five years of age, or a carer. You must also be no younger than 16 and no older than the earliest age that you can start receiving a State Pension.

On top of this, you may need to have low income or no income at all, and less than £16,000 in savings. You should be working less than a certain amount of hours per week and your partner may also need to work a limited amount of hours.

At the moment, the individual applying for Income Support must not be working for more than 16 hours per week and the applicant’s partner shouldn’t be working more than 24 hours per week. Finally, you must live in England, Scotland or Wales to qualify for Income Support.

You may also be able to apply if you live in Northern Ireland, but there could be different criteria. Call the Income Support contact number if you have additional queries.

Please note: Your partner’s savings may also be taken into a account when deciding your eligibility for Income Support.

Can I apply for Income Support if I am in full-time education?

Possibly. You may also be eligible for Income Support if you are a young person in full-time education recognised by the government. At the time of writing, you must be between 16 and 20 years of age. You must also either be a parent, an individual not living with a parent or guardian, or a refugee learning English. Call the Income Support helpline to discuss your situation

Can I receive Income Support if I receive other benefits?

Possibly. There are some benefits which can be received in concurrence with Income Support. However, there are also a number of common benefits which may make individuals ineligible for Income Support.

A few examples of benefits that may not be compatible with Income Support are Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, and Universal Credit.

Can I receive Income Support if I am a young person who is being looked after a local authority?

Maybe not. If you are a young person under the protection or responsibility of a local government authority, you may be ineligible for Income Support. However, if you are also a single parent, you may still be eligible.

Can I check if I’m eligible for Income Support online?

Yes. The government website recommends applicants checking their eligibility on an online ‘Benefits Calculator’. The services are often free to use and can give relatively accurate results on whether you are eligible for a number of different types of benefits as well as an estimate of the amount of benefits you could receive.

Keep in mind, the above services will not give accurate results for everyone. For example, prisoners, students and non-British/Irish citizens will not necessarily receive accurate results with Benefits Calculators.

You also may not be able to use these services if you are under 18 years of age or living permanently in a nursing home/residential care.
If you cannot use a Benefits Calculator, the government website also recommends contacting ‘Turn2us’ or ‘entitled to’ – two companies which provide help and advice on benefits.

If I am eligible for Income Support, what will I receive?

You will likely receive a ‘Basic Payment’, also known as a ‘Personal Allowance’, and you may also receive extra payments or premiums. At the time of writing, payments are made directly into individuals’ bank accounts every two weeks.

How can I apply for Income Support?

One of the easiest ways to apply for Income Support is over the phone. You can also apply at a Jobcentre Plus office by handing in an Income Support Claim form. The form can be found on the government website – it must be printed out and filled in according to the instructions.

If you would like to receive a form in a format for the blind or sight impaired, you can request Braille, large font or audio CD versions over the phone.

You may need some personal information to hand to be able to make a claim. This could include details of your income, details of your partner’s income, your address and who lives with you. You may also need to state your date of birth and National Insurance Number.

How can I make changes to an Income Support claim?

You can make changes to an Income Support claim over the phone or by handing in the relevant form to a Jobcentre Plus office. You may need information to hand, such as the changes to your address, working situation, income, savings or the number of people living with you.

You may also need to state your date of birth and National Insurance Number.

What happens if my Income Support claim is rejected?

You can appeal the decision to reject your claim at the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. This can usually be done be asking for ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’ within the time limit stated on the government website.

At the time of writing, the time limit is one month from the date your claim was rejected. You may not be able to appeal the claim rejection after this amount of time. Call the Income Support telephone number to discuss your case

Have a better contact number for Income Support?