Income Support and Paternity Leave
Income Support has been replaced by Universal Credit for any new claims.
The rest of this article is only relevant if you are already in receipt of Income Support or in circumstances where you have Severe Disability Premium in place.
You can claim Income Support (IS) either if you get no payment from your employer OR you were entitled to Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit of more than the family element or Housing Benefit before the leave began. You must be entitled to Paternity Leave – one or two weeks soon after the birth of the baby or adoption of a child. This means that if you are not entitled to paternity leave, because, for example, you are self-employed or because you have not worked for your employer for long enough, you cannot claim Income Support.
If you do get Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) for this period, you can only get IS on top if your SPP and other income is less than the amount of IS for your circumstances. You must also meet all the other conditions for IS, so, for example, if your partner is getting Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), your joint income may be too high for you to get IS.
You can find more information on claiming Income Support on the GOV.UK website. In some areas of the country people making a new claim for IS have to claim Universal Credit instead. You will be told what to do if this applies to you.