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Income Support - how much you can get

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

You can get a 'basic payment' to top up your income if you qualify for Income Support - this is usually paid into your bank account every 2 weeks.

You might get additional payments (known as 'premiums') on top of the basic payment if you need extra help - for example if you or your partner are disabled.

Your basic payment

The basic payment you'll get depends on your circumstances - particularly your age and whether you claim as a couple. You'll usually need to claim as a couple if you're married, in a civil partnership or living with your partner.

The Department for Communities (DfC) works out your payments by looking at things like your income and savings when you apply. You won't know exactly how much Income Support you'll get until your claim is processed.

If you're single

Your circumstance Weekly payment
16 to 24 £57.90
25 or over £73.10
Parent aged 18 or over £73.10
Parent aged 16 or 17 £57.90

If you're part of a couple

Your circumstance Weekly payment
Both aged 18 or over £114.85
Both under 18, or one is under 18 and the other is 18 to 24

£57.90 (or £114.85 if you have children)

One person is under 18 and the other is 25 or over

£73.10 (or £114.85 if you have children)

If you or your partner are disabled 

You might be able to get an additional Income Support premium if you or your partner are ill or disabled - this is called the ‘disability premium’.

If you or your partner are eligible, you’ll get an extra:

  • £32.25 a week if you’re single
  • £45.95 a week if you’re in a couple

You might be able to get further payments on top of this if you qualify for the ‘severe’ or ‘enhanced’ disability premium.

Check if you’re eligible for disability premiums on GOV.UK.

If you're a carer

You can usually get an extra £34.60 a week on top of your basic Income Support payment if you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance. This is called the ‘carer premium’.

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t actually paid any Carer’s Allowance, for example because you claim other benefits that overlap. You’ll qualify for the carer premium as long as you’re eligible and make a claim.

Check if you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance on GOV.UK.

If you're over 18, use the Turn2us benefits calculator to get an idea of what you'll get before you claim. If you're under 18, or you need help using the calculator, contact your nearest Citizens Advice.

When you visit Citizens Advice, you'll need to take details of:

  • any benefits and pensions you or your partner get
  • disabled people you care for (and get Carer's Allowance for)
  • what you and your partner earn
  • any savings
  • details of your mortgage

Getting help with housing costs

If you get Income Support, you might qualify for help with your housing costs. What you can get depends on whether you rent or own your home, and how you pay for it.

If you rent your home, you might qualify for Housing Benefit when you claim Income Support. This is to help pay for your rent - find out how much you could get on NIHE.

If you own your home, you might get additional Income Support payments to help pay your:

  • mortgage interest
  • interest on loans for improvements and repairs
  • service charges
  • ground rent

If you have any of these expenses, you should apply for Income Support even if you currently earn too much to qualify. This is because it can take up to 9 months from applying for these expenses to be included in your claim.

If you have a mortgage or other loan for your home

You can get additional Income Support payments to help pay your mortgage interest, as well as interest on loans taken out to pay for things like:

  • the freehold of your property
  • your ex-partner's share in your property
  • major repairs and improvements

Payments are usually made directly to your mortgage or loan provider - they only help pay the interest on what you've borrowed, not the repayments.

If you have a repayment mortgage, you'll need to cover the repayments yourself. It's a good idea to talk to your mortgage provider about switching to an interest-only mortgage if you can't afford the repayments.

Find out what you could get on nidirect, or contact your nearest Jobs and Benefits or Social Security office to apply.

If you pay ground rent or service charge

You can get an additional Income Support payment to pay your service charge and ground rent. This includes if your service charge is to pay for:

  • building insurance - if it's part of a condition of your lease
  • small repairs, for example to water pipes
  • small improvements, for example painting a hallway

You can't get an Income Support payment if your service charge is to pay for:

  • major improvements, for example adding extra insulation
  • major repairs, for example repairing a roof
  • emergency alarms - eg if your client is in supported accommodation and needs Careline alarms

You can get a payment for your ground rent if your lease is for more than 21 years.

You'll need to give details of these housing costs when you apply for Income Support - the DfC use these details to work out your housing payments.

Help with other housing costs

If you're getting Income Support you can get help with other housing costs, including:

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