Are you a lone parent claiming Income Support?

Changes are coming…

Changes to Income Support for lone parents will be introduced from 16 January. If your youngest child is aged five or over, your Income Support may stop, if you only get it because you are a lone parent.

The article provides an overview of the changes and next steps.

What is changing?

Currently, Income Support is removed when the youngest child turns age seven. From 16 January this will decrease and Income Support may cease when the youngest child turns five years old.

Parents who are impacted will be moved onto Jobseekers Allowance and will be required to actively look for work.

If you are affected you will receive notification 8 weeks in advance of your Income Support stopping.

Will all lone parents be affected?

You will only be affected if you claim Income Support only because you are a lone parent. The changes will not apply to you if you are entitled to Income Support for other reasons, for example:

  • You have a child who gets the middle or highest rate care component of DLA
  • You get Carer’s Allowance
  • You have a foster child living with you.

If you are aged 16 or 17, with a child aged 5 or 6, you may remain on Income Support until you reach age 18 years.

If you are not sure if you will be affected you can speak to one of our Family Benefits Advisors on 0800 028 3008.

When will my Income Support Stop?

If you will be affected by the changes, the table below gives an indication of when you can expect your Income Support to stop.

Age of Youngest Child When Income Support will End
Aged 6 before 16/01/2017 Between January and April 2017
Aged 6 on or after 16/01/2017 On your next benefit payday after your child’s 6th birthday
Aged 5 before 17/04/2017 Between April and July 2017
Aged 5 on or after 17/04/2017  On your next benefit payday after your child’s 5th birthday

You will receive communication from the Department For Communities 8 weeks before your Income Support is due to stop, this will tell you when you will receive your last payment.

Where can I find more information?

Our Family Benefits Advisors can provide more information on Income Support and other family benefits you may be entitled to. To speak to an Advisor call free on 028 9267 8200 or email