Who can get income support
You can get IS if you are:1Reg 4ZA(3) IS Regs
a lone parent (see here
a single foster parent (see here
in a couple, your partner is also a full-time student and you have a child (but you can only get IS in the long vacation – see here
a refugee learning English (see here
on a non-advanced course, under 22 and without parental support (see here
To qualify as a lone parent, your youngest child must normally be under age five (you can also qualify if you are under 18, regardless of your youngest child’s age).2Sch 1B para 1 IS Regs; s137 SSCBA 1992
Once your youngest child reaches her/his fifth birthday, you no longer count as a lone parent and your IS stops.
Julie is studying full time for a degree in chemistry. She is a lone parent with a three-year-old child. She is eligible for IS.
You may be required to attend work-focused interviews if your youngest child is aged one to four, and to undertake work-related activity if your youngest child is aged three or four.
If you are a lone parent and your child is above the age at which you count as a lone parent for IS, but is under 20 and a qualifying young person (see here
), in certain circumstances you can get IS during the summer vacation. You must be in one of the other groups of people who are eligible for IS, such as a carer (see here
), and you must be eligible to make a new claim for IS (see here
Single foster parents
You are eligible if you are a single foster parent with a child under 16. This includes kinship carers who are caring for a ‘looked-after’ child (sometimes referred to as ‘approved kinship carers’).
Emelia is studying full time for an HND in social care. She is single and fosters a 13-year-old boy. She is eligible for IS.
If you have a child and your partner is also a full-time student, you are not excluded from IS in the summer vacation.3Reg 4ZA(3)(c) IS Regs
To be eligible, you must be in one of the groups of people who can get IS (eg, a carer), listed under ‘studying part time’ on here
. Your child must be under 16, or under 20 and still a qualifying young person (see here
). During term time and short vacations, you are not eligible for IS.
If your partner is not a full-time student or is a part-time student, s/he is not excluded from IS and can get IS for you as well as for her/himself whether or not you have a child. S/he can get IS throughout the year, not just in the long vacation. To be eligible, s/he must be in one of the groups of people who can get IS listed on here
Your English course must be more than 15 hours a week and aimed at helping you get work. You must have refugee status and you must have been in Britain for a year or less when your course starts. Payment of IS is limited to nine months.4Sch 1B para 18 IS Regs
Under 22 without parental support
To qualify, you must be on a full-time course of non-advanced education on which you were accepted, enrolled or started before you turned 21.5Sch 1B para 15A IS Regs
If you turn 21 on your course, you continue to be eligible. In addition, you must:
•be an orphan, and no one is acting in place of your parent; or
•live away from your parents, or anyone acting in their place, because you are estranged from them; or
•live away from your parents because there is a serious risk or danger to you; or
•live away from your parents. They must be unable to support you financially and be sick or disabled, in prison or not allowed to enter Britain.
For more details, see the first four groups who are eligible for IS in relevant education listed on here