Benefits advice - Low income

If you are struggling with a low income you may be entitled to benefits, whether you are working or not.

From 22 February 2017, a new government benefit called Universal Credit was introduced in Southampton. This means if you are working age you will no longer be able to make a new claim for the benefits listed below:

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support 
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit (some exceptions apply)

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit monthly payment that has replaced some other benefits. You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or out of work.

More on Universal Credit

Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit is a means-tested or income-related payment to top up the earnings of working people on low incomes, including those who do not have children or who have a disability. You cannot claim Working Tax Credit if you are under 16 years of age.

More information on Working Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit is a means-tested credit for families with children and is paid direct to the main carer. The amount you will get depends on your income. You can qualify for Child Tax Credit whether you are working or not.

More information on Child Tax Credit

Income Support

Income Support is a means-tested or income-related benefit which provides basic living expenses for you and your partner. It can be paid on its own if you have no other income or it can top up other benefits or earnings from part-time work.

More information on Income Support

Housing Benefit

You can claim Housing Benefit if you and/ or your partner are liable to pay rent for the accommodation ‘normally occupied’ by you or your family and your income is low enough in your circumstances.

More information on Housing Benefit

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Council Tax Reduction can help you to pay your council tax costs if you are on a low income.

More information on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme

The Extended Payment Scheme

The Extended Payment Scheme can allow you to continue receiving Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction for the first four weeks of employment before your first paycheque.

More information on the Extended Payment Scheme


Welfare Rights and Money Advice
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre
Southampton SO14 7LR

Telephone: 023 8083 2339