Income Support - how to claim and how much you can get
You can claim Income Support by telephoning or writing to 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 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
- payments to cover certain housing costs
The amount of the personal allowances are shown in the table below:
From 8 April 2013
|Type of person||Weekly amount|
|Aged 16 to 24||£56.80|
|Aged 25 or over||£71.70|
|Aged 16 to 17||£56.80|
|Aged 18 or over||£71.70|
|With both people under 18||£56.80|
|With one person under 18 and the other aged 18 to 24||£56.80|
|With one person under 18 and the other aged 25 or over||£71.70|
|With both people aged 18 or over||£112.55|
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:
- if your claim is turned down
- you think your benefit has been worked out wrongly
- How to appeal against a benefits decision
More useful links
- Employed or looking for work - benefits information
- Getting help to make your mortgage interest payments
- Guide to information for carers - including support, rights and taking a break (pensions and retirement planning section)
- Guide to financial support for people with disabilities (people with disabilities section)
- Help with health costs (people with disabilities section)