Many people struggle to get by on their salaries. Living costs, taxes, mortgages or rent can soon mount up and often exceeds the amount that is earned. This is where the problem of debt comes in. Debt isn’t always the result of people living extravagant lifestyles and failing to live within their means. For many people, working on minimum wage simply doesn’t cover monthly outgoings.
However, many people are unaware that government help may be at hand, depending on your circumstances. For those on particularly low incomes, support might be available. As you might expect from the social security system, applying for support can be extremely complicated and it can be difficult to determine who exactly is eligible for support and who isn’t. Thousands of households that are entitled to support don’t claim it, simply because they are unaware of the facts.
Income support is only eligible for those under the state pension age and over 18 years of age. People over the state pension might be eligible for State Pension Credit and in exceptional cases, 16-17 year olds may be considered for support. Entitlements are strictly restricted to UK residents. UK residents recently relocated from overseas may find it difficult to apply for support.
Eligibility is essentially determined through the amount of income you receive. This includes benefits, earnings and capital. Generally, claimants must work less than 16 hours per week and have no more than £16,000 in savings.
It is strongly recommended that you check regularly as rules and regulations change as often as people’s circumstances do. If you are unsure whether you could be entitled to income support, you can contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, or visit the Directgov website.