Step 1 increasing your income

​Ways of increasing your household income

Money from other people

  • If you have grown-up children or other relatives living in your home, make sure they are paying enough towards the household expenses. Contact us for advice.
  • If you have children from a former relationship, you may want to claim child maintenance or see whether the maintenance you are getting can be increased. You will be able to keep all the child maintenance you receive, even if you are on benefits. You can find independent advice about child maintenance options at or contact 0800 988 0988.

Money from insurance

  • Check whether your mortgage or any other loans are covered by payment protection insurance. If so, this may cover your payments if you have been made redundant or you are off work due to illness. If you are turned down by the company when you claim on your policy, you may be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Contact us for advice.

Renting out a room

  • Do you have a spare room in your home that you could rent out? You will need to check to see how this would affect any benefits you are claiming. Also check your tax position. Ask your tax office about the rent-a-room scheme. This allows you to receive rental income, up to a certain limit, tax-free. You will usually need your landlord’s or mortgage lender’s permission to do this, as your tenancy or mortgage agreement may not allow you to rent rooms out.

Working as a childminder

  • You may be able to work as a childminder in your home and still claim Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance. Some of your earnings are ignored and you are not treated as working full-time. The rules are different if you are on Jobseeker’s Allowance. Check with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or contact us for advice.