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It is still worth claiming the Income Support benefit

Income SupportIt is not clear how the Government’s plan to cap benefits at a certain level will affect Income Support, but it is not a high-paying amount so the cap might not have any influence on it. What is clear is that the Government is moving towards getting rid of Income Support and replacing it with a universal benefit, Universal Credit, by the middle of next year. However for the time being Income Support is still in place and is worth claiming.

What is Income Support?
Income Support is a benefit people can get if their income is so low that they cannot pay for everything they need. If you work for less than 16 hours a week you can normally apply for it. But you will have to meet the qualifications. You can find out more about the rules by calling the Income Support contact number. Income Support is means-tested. In this case it means the benefit cannot be claimed if you have more than £16,000 in savings. People who want to claim it must be over 18 and under the pensionable age. You cannot claim Income Support if you are claiming Jobseekers Allowance. The actual amount you might receives can vary widely, but if you meet the criteria you could get up to £56.80 a week.

Partners can matter
If you have a partner and live with them only one can get Income Support. This covers all partnerships, whether married or living together. The partner who claims will claim for the both of you, so your partner’s capital and income will be taken into the calculations, as well as your income. If a partner does make a claim they might find they will have to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. And they will have to go to the interview which is part of the process.

Other benefits are available
If you do successfully claim Income Support, that can open the door to other benefits. For instance Income Support claimants can usually get Housing Benefit as well. The rules about Housing Benefit and how it affects Income Support are tricky to navigate. It will probably be sensible to call the Income Support contact number first, and also try to get expert advice from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. But it is probably worth trying for Income Support. If you get it you are usually entitled to Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit. There are also loans and grants from the Social Fund and help with health bills like free NHS dental treatment, free prescriptions and glasses vouchers. Your children would also qualify for free school meals.

It pays to be honest
If you give wrong or misleading information on purpose, or do not tell the welfare agency about changes in your circumstances, you might be committing benefit fraud. The circumstances you are in can be checked by fraud officers at any time, and they can get information from other branches of government, your bank and your employer.

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