Skip to content

Income Support

Income Support is extra money to help people on a low income. It’s for people who don't have to sign on as unemployed. Whether you qualify or not and how much you get depends on your circumstances.

You may be able to get Income Support if you meet all the specific conditions including:

  • you and your partner have no income or a low income
  • you’re working less than 16 hours a week
  • you haven’t signed on as unemployed

You can claim Child Tax Credit if you claim Income Support and have children.


To qualify for Income Support you must be all of the following:

  • between 16 and Pension Credit qualifying age
  • pregnant, or a carer, or a lone parent with a child under 7 or, in some cases, unable to work because you’re sick or disabled
  • you have no income or a low income (your partner’s income and savings will be taken into account)
  • working less than 16 hours a week (and your partner works less than 24 hours a week)
  • living in Northern Ireland

You don’t need a permanent address, e.g. you can still claim if you sleep rough or live in a hostel or care home.

You might still qualify if you do unpaid voluntary work or go on parental or paternity leave.

Also, you qualify if you’re age 19 or younger, in full-time secondary education (including A levels) and one of the following:

  • a parent
  • not living with a parent or someone acting as a parent
  • a refugee learning English

You can also qualify up until the age of 21 if you’re one of the above, are orphaned or estranged from your parents and enrolled in education.

When you won’t qualify

You won’t usually qualify if you:

Information in alternative languages

More useful links