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Income Support - how to claim and how much you can get

You can claim Income Support by telephoning, writing or calling into your local Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office.You will need to tell us about your income, where you live and who lives with you. Continue reading to find out more, including how much you may get.

How to claim Income Support

Claiming by telephone

You can claim by telephoning or by getting a friend, relative or adviser to telephone your local Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office on your behalf. The address can be found in the phone book under Government - Social Security Agency.

Claiming by writing

You can claim by writing or by getting a friend, relative or adviser to write to your local Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office on your behalf. The address can be found in the phone book under Government - Social Security Agency.

In either case, you will be given/sent the detailed claim forms and a pre-paid envelope addressed to the Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office.

How much you can get

The amount of Income Support you can get is made up of three different parts:

  • personal allowances
  • premiums
  • payments to cover certain housing costs

The amount of the personal allowances are shown in the table below:

From 8 April 2014

Type of person Weekly amount
Single person
Aged 16 to 24 £57.35
Aged 25 or over £72.40
Lone parent
Aged 16 to 17 £57.35
Aged 18 or over £72.40
Couple
With both people under 18 £57.35
With one person under 18 and the other aged 18 to 24 £57.35
With one person under 18 and the other aged 25 or over £72.40
With both people aged 18 or over £113.70

For Income Support, the amount may be less after your household income, pension and any savings of £6,000 or more are taken into account. To get a better idea of how much Income Support you may get, use the online benefits adviser.

How Income Support is paid

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account. This is the safest, most convenient and efficient method of payment.

Where you live

You can still claim Income Support if you're:

  • sleeping rough
  • living in a hostel
  • living in a care home

Young people who are being looked after by a Health & Social Care Trust can't get Income Support.

When you claim Income Support you must be in Northern Ireland and normally live here. If you have moved here to make a settled home, that counts as living here.

You must not be under immigration control.

There are some exceptions to these rules. Contact your local Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office to find out more.

Income Support - who can qualify

Find out more about the rules for claiming Income Support and if you qualify.

Changes in your life

Tell the Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office straight away if something changes that may affect your Income Support.

For example, tell the Social Security or Jobs and Benefit office if you or your partner do any of the following:

  • move home, (or other people move into or leave your home)
  • change the account you pay benefits into
  • change your income – including maintenance and part-time earnings
  • work more or fewer hours
  • become ill
  • have to stay in hospital
  • get more or less of other benefits

If you're not sure whether to tell about a change, do it anyway. If you don't, you could lose out on money you should get. Or you could be paid too much, and have to repay it. To find out more:

If you think the Social Security Agency decision is wrong

You can ask the Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office to look at their decision again:

More useful links