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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Income support (FOI)

Income support (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 28 April 2016.


How much subsidy was paid by Social Security (income support) to lower paid workers in Jersey for the year beginning January 2014 until January 2015?


The information is held by the Social Security Department.  

Some background information has been provided to explain the context of the information provided. 

The purpose of income support​​

Income support is a means-tested benefit for Jersey households, where the family members meet strict residential criteria, which provides financial help to local residents in need. 

The scheme provides support towards the costs of housing, living, medical needs and child care; it also recognises the valuable role of informal carers. 

The cost of income support January 2014 to January 2015​​

From January 2014 to January 2015, £24.7 million of income support benefit was paid to 2,359 households where at least one person within the household was in paid employment and therefore can be considered to have ‘low income’. 

This equates to 33% of the total income support cost for the period.

In addition, £48.3 million of income support benefit was paid to 4,150 households where no one in the household was in paid employment.

The table below shows a detailed breakdown of the total income support cost across seven household earning brackets, from no earnings to £500+ per week. 

The largest of these earning brackets (excluding no earnings), in terms of cost and quantity of claims, is for households with total weekly earnings of between £300 and £399. 

This represents 508 household claims with a total income support cost of £5.1m.

​Total household earnings per week​Total income support cost (£m)​Average number of claims​Average weekly income support per claim (£)​Average number of people on claim​Average weekly income support per person (£)
​No earnings​48.3​4,150​224​1.4​159
​Less than £100​4.1​306​256​1.7​154


How income support is calculated​​

The amount of income support benefit received depends on the household income and assets but it includes incentives so that families in work are always better off than those without work. 

People who receive it must be working, looking for work or have a good reason why they are unable to work, unless they are over 65 years old or caring for very young children.

The amount of income support paid is calculated on an individual basis and takes into account, among others, the following factors:

  • age
  • if the claimant lives alone or as a couple
  • the number of dependent children or young adults living in the household
  • the age and income of non-dependents living within the household
  • if the claimant is a carer, and the disability and medical needs of the dependents they are caring for
  • any earnings, other income, assets or savings the household has
  • housing costs

Therefore, every income support claim could be different.

More information about how income support is calculated can be found below. 

Income Support

Encouraging employment​

Alongside providing incentives to ensure that working households are financially better off than non-working households, the Social Security Department provides extensive assistance to help people who are actively seeking work find employment through the Back to Work scheme.  

The scheme provides jobseekers with support to help make them more employable through a combination of mentoring, training and work placements.  

Unless there are special circumstances, people are expected to work full time (35 hours per week).

Participation in the Back to Work Scheme is compulsory and strictly controlled and monitored. 

Income support payments are dependent upon jobseekers attending meetings with a Back to Work advisor and proving that they are looking for work.  

The Social Security Department can withdraw income support payments, using legal sanctions, if a member of a household does not fulfil their obligations with the Back to Work team.

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