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Income support

Income support is a benefit for people under the age of 60 and on a low income. If you have more than £16,000 in capital you cannot get Income Support. Capital means anything that could provide you with a source of income. It includes savings, property and land (but not personal possessions or the home where you live).

Capital of more than £6,000 will affect how much Income Support you get. You will be treated as getting £1 a week in income for every £250 of capital (or part of £250) above the £6,000 limit. This is regardless of how much money you actually receive from your capital, if any.

If your partner is aged 60 or over (but not in a residential care or nursing home), you must not have more than £12,000 in capital as a couple or you cannot get Income Support. You will be assumed to have an income from any capital over £6,000. Remember that if your partner is aged 60 or over, they could claim Pension Credit for you as a couple instead.

If you or your partner are in a residential care or nursing home, you must not have more than £16,000 in capital. You will be assumed to have an income from any capital over £10,000. If you own property where you used to live or normally live, this may be included in your capital.

If you live in a residential care or nursing home and are concerned about the treatment of your property for income support purposes, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Income support is calculated taking into account a wide range of factors including personal details, e.g. age, dependents, housing costs and disability. As such it is a complex calculation process that is very much individualised to each claim.

An outline guide is provided (April 2011), but this is very much a guide, each individual case will be calculated on its own circumstances.

Personal weekly allowances for single people:

16-24 year olds £56.25
25 years or over £71.00

Claiming Income Support from April 2011

There is no provision for children within these benefits now. You will need to claim child tax credit (CTC) to provide this income if you have not already done so.

Housing costs

Deductions are made for non-dependants sharing the household
Because of the complex nature of calculating an income support entitlement and application it is advisable to seek experienced help, either from your local Citizens Advice Bureau, independent advice centre , Benefit Enquiry Line