The Income Support Scheme is expected to launch in 2018. It brings together the Rent Rebate Scheme and the Supplementary Benefit Scheme into one benefit system. The new single system will treat everyone under one set of rules, and will provide help with rent and living expenses to households on a low income.
The information provided on this page will explain things in as much detail as possible at this early stage. The proposals were debated and agreed by the States of Guernsey at the States Meeting on 8 March 2016. A copy of the Policy Letter is available for download on this page, and this sets out the proposals in full. A list of common questions and answers (FAQs) is available to download from this page.
Two presentations were held for members of the public in February 2016. Extra questions and answers arising from what we heard at the meeting have been published in the FAQs on this page. We will also provide more updates and news on this page in the future.
A brief explanation of the main changes proposed is provided below.
New benefit rates
- The new income support benefit rates being proposed are set out in the Policy Letter available in the downloads section of this page. The new rates are expected to come into force during 2018, uplifted in line with inflation. The exact start date of the new Scheme will be announced after more detailed planning work has been done.
New Extra Needs Allowance
- This allowance will provide extra help to people who have particular needs that result in extra energy, clothing, laundry, and dietary costs. More details will be provided as soon as possible.
Treatment of Savings
- Under the new Income Support Scheme there will be an increase in the level of savings that you can have before it affects the amount of cash benefit you will receive. The proposed new limits are set out in the Policy Letter and at the bottom of the 'Proposed new benefits rates and savings limits' table in the downloads section of this page. The way that savings above the new limits are treated will also change.
New Rules for Non-Dependants
- A non-dependant is an adult living in someone else's household. This could be someone living at home with their parents, someone living with adult children, or someone living with friends. Rent allowance awarded to a tenant will be reduced by £75 per week for each non-dependant living in their household. If a non-dependant can't afford to pay this amount towards the rent, they may be able to get up to £75 benefit per week in respect of their share of the rent.
The Committee for Employment & Social Security will begin the work needed to join the two schemes. More details of how the changes might affect you will be provided as soon as possible. The earliest that any changes to either Scheme are likely to occur would be June 2018. The Committee for Employment & Social Security will write to households affected as soon as correct and helpful information can be provided.