Know Your Rights: Family Income Supplement and student grants

Question

My wife and I are applying for the Family Income Supplement (FIS) for our family of two children.  We are unsure about what income is included in the means test for this payment. For example, will my wife’s student grant be included?

Answer (February 2017)

Family Income Supplement (FIS) is a weekly tax-free payment for families, including one-parent families, at work on low pay.  The combined income of a couple (married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting) is taken into account when your means are assessed for FIS. Income from any source, including a student grant, is assessed in the means test. However, the following payments are not counted as family income:

Capital is not assessed. This includes property you own, bank accounts and cars. However, bank accounts may be checked for other income sources and income derived from the use of a car that you own may be assessed (for example as a taxi).

The main items counted as income are a couple’s  assessable earnings, any extra earned in employment (such as pay for overtime, bonuses, allowances or commission), income from self-employment, occupational pensions, social welfare payments (apart from those listed above), income from carer’s payments or rental income from the letting of property or land.