What is Income Support?
Income Support is an income-related benefit that provides financial support towards the costs of living, housing, medical needs and childcare. Carers can also receive support.
Income Support units
An Income Support unit (IS unit) can be any of the following:
- one person living alone
- a couple (married or unmarried)
- a family living together at the same address with children under school leaving age or still in full time education
Who can apply for Income Support?
You can apply for Income Support if you meet the two following requirements:
1. Residency requirement
From 1 August 2012, the Income Support Law has changed. From this date, each adult who applies to be included on an Income Support claim will need to pass the Income Support Residence Test in order to receive some of the Income Support components.
Income Support residence test
2. Work requirement
If you are of working age you are expected to work full time (at least 35 hours per week) or be exempt from full-time work. If you are exempt from full-time work you may be expected to work part-time hours depending on your individual circumstances.
If you do not do enough to look for work your benefit may be cut. Looking for work includes participating in training or work experience that has been arranged for you, attending interviews and taking up any suitable work that is offered to you. Your ability to claim will be affected if you leave work without good reason.
If I have returned to Jersey after a period away, can I still claim?
If you have lived in Jersey for 10 consecutive years (or more), left the Island and then returned, you can apply to claim Income Support immediately.
If you have lived in Jersey for less than 10 years (but more than five) and then moved away you will need to be back in the Island for the same length of time that you were away before you can apply for Income Support.
For example: if you live in Jersey for five years, then leave the Island and spend two years living in France, on your return to Jersey you need to be resident for two years before you can claim Income Support.
What is a jobseeker?
Jobseekers are adults who are claiming Income Support and are currently out of work. To get the full amount of Income Support that you are entitled to, you must try and find work (this includes people who are expected to take up part-time work).
You must meet with our advisors in the Work Zone on a regular basis and prove that you are actively seeking work. They will help you with your job search.
If you do not do enough to look for work, your benefit may be cut. If you repeatedly ignore written warnings about your behaviour, all payments to your household will eventually be stopped. Income Support sanctions for people who give up work or who don't do enough to look for work
How much is the Income Support benefit?
The amount of Income Support you may get varies according to your circumstances. Some factors that can affect how much you'll get include:
- your age
- if you live alone or as a couple
- number of dependants you have living with you
- age and income of non-dependants living with you
- disability - including disability of dependants
- if you're caring for someone
- any earnings or savings you or your partner have
How do I make a claim?
If you want to make a claim for Income Support you should contact us at the Social Security Department.
When you make a claim you will be interviewed by an Income Support adviser. You will need to bring proof with you to confirm your circumstances (for example, birth certificates, rent book, payslips, bank statements).
If you have a medical condition, you will be asked to complete a separate self-reporting form.
Please note: if you are in urgent need of assistance, it may be possible for us to provide you with an emergency payment.
Can I appeal if I am unhappy with the decision?
If you do not agree with the decision made about your Income Support claim, then you can ask for the claim to be reviewed by another adviser. If you are still unhappy with the decision following a review of your claim you may ask for an appeal to be heard by an independent Appeals Tribunal.
If you think a Social Security decision is wrong
Cold weather payments
Cold weather payments will be made between November and May if the temperature drops below a certain level. The value of the payment depends on the temperature in the previous month.
The payment is made to any household receiving Income Support that also includes:
- someone over 65 years old
- a child under the age of three
- someone with a significant disability, who also receives level three of the personal care element
The payments are made automatically and there is no need to apply for them separately. They are paid in the same way as regular Income Support payments. For most people this is directly into their bank account.
Food Costs Bonus
As well as providing a weekly benefit, Income Support provides one-off payments for a variety of circumstances and to cope with emergencies such as urgent medical, dental or optical treatment.
The Social Security Minister has the power to make exceptional payments to anyone in Jersey who faces a difficult situation and needs financial help. These payments fall outside the main framework of Income Support