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Discretionary Income Support payments (FOI)

Discretionary Income Support payments (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 16 December 2016.


Income Support payments - 'Exceptional Payments'

How many times in the past five years has the Social Security Minister made Exceptional Payments to persons living in Jersey who do not qualify for Income Support payments under normal rules?

Please include:

  • the number of people claiming who failed the residency test, how many of these claims were successful and what the claims were for
  • total number of claims and amount paid
  • how many claims were successful
  • the amounts paid in individual cases and the reason for the claim
  • how many claims have been made that were unsuccessful
  • include the reason for the claim and why it was refused


The Minister for Social Security has the power under the Income Support scheme to make payments to anyone in Jersey. These discretionary powers are very carefully controlled and they are only used in exceptional circumstances. The table below provides details of the payments, totalling £623,516.49 that have been approved during the five year period from 2011 to 2015, on average circa £125,000 per year.

Typically approved requests are paid weekly in advance in the same way as income support benefit. 

Details of requests for discretionary payments are included within the written notes made on each individual and every record would need to be checked independently to provide a detailed analysis. This would take more than 12.5 hours to compile and therefore the information is exempt under article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) law 2011. 

The financial figures collated in the table below are estimates within the business case based on benefit rates and individual circumstances at the time the Ministerial exception is agreed. Similarly, the circumstances in which a ministerial payment may be agreed can be complex and so broad category descriptors are used. Cases not approved by the Minister were only recorded from 2014.  

Download Table of discretionary payments 20161220 (size 129kb)

FOI exemption(s) applied:

Article 16

Access to information held by a scheduled public Authority

 A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive

(1)    A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.

Article 25 

Personal Information

(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the     applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.

(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –

(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005; and

(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law

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