Be living in England, Scotland, or Wales (different rules apply in Northern Ireland).
Next, you need to be at least sixteen (16) years old but not over the Pension Credit qualifying age. Then, one or more of these must apply to your situation, such as by being:
A lone parent (can also include being a lone adoptive parent) with a child under the age of five (5).
A lone foster parent with a child under the age of sixteen (16).
A single person who is looking after a child under sixteen before they get adopted.
Away from work because you are on maternity, paternity, or parental leave.
Unable to work and receiving Incapacity Benefit, Statutory Sick Pay, or the Severe Disablement Allowance
In full-time education (cannot be at a university), between 16 and 20 years old, and a parent. The same would also apply if you are not living with a parent or someone who is acting as a parent.
In custody or due to attend court or a tribunal.
A refugee who is learning English. The course would need to be at least fifteen (15) hours per week and you would need to have started it within 12 months of entering the United Kingdom.
It is important to be aware that you do not need to have a permanent address to get Income Support. So, you can still make a claim even if you are sleeping rough or you are living in a hostel or a care home, for example.
Income Support is still available for the most needy. But, generally you need to be getting a low income (or none at all) to meet the eligibility criteria.
The government benefit cap places limits on the total amount of benefit you can get. It applies to almost all claimants aged between 16 and the State Pension age.
The cap doesn’t affect all individual benefits. But, you are likely to find it affecting the total amount of social security benefits you receive.
For most people, Income Support payments arrive every two weeks (fortnightly). The money from almost all allowances, benefits, and pensions will go straight into a secure bank, building society, or credit union account.
Jobcentre Plus (new claims) Telephone: 0800 169 0350 Textphone: 0800 023 4888 NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0350 Welsh language: 0800 012 1888 Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
You can also fill in Income Support claim form A1 on screen through the GOV.UK website and then print it off and send it to Jobcentre Plus. You can also contact them to get alternative formats (e.g. audio CD, Braille, or large print).
When you claim Income Support for yourself (and your partner unless they already made a claim) you will need to give some details about:
Where you are living (e.g. in a hostel)
Who, if anyone, is living with you
Your income (and your partner’s income)
There are steps you can take if you disagree with, or want to dispute, a decision about your claim. But, to challenge a benefit decision you would need to follow the process called ‘mandatory reconsideration’.
Reporting a Change of Circumstances
You must report any significant changes to your circumstances to continue getting the correct amount of Income Support. The DWP can reduce a claim, or stop it altogether, if you fail to report certain changes straight away.
Note: Giving wrong or incomplete information, or failing to report changes straight away, can result in a DWP civil penalty or prosecution.
Some of the most typical change of circumstances that you would need to report, include:
Starting or stopping work, education, training, or an apprenticeship.
Certain changes to the benefits that you get (or anyone else in your house).
Changes to the amount of money you receive (e.g. grant funding, student loans, money from a charity, sick pay).
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