Calculating Adequate Maintenance Requirement for Settlement Visa – Receiving Disability (PIP)/ Carer Allowance

If you are applying to come to the UK on a Spouse Visa there are certain requirements that the government needs to be fulfilled. One of these is being able to adequately maintain yourself without relying on ‘public funds’ (this means benefits or the NHS etc.). So, if you are applying for a Spouse Visa you or your partner must meet the income threshold; this is currently £18,600 a year. If you are coming to the UK through EU law then this requirement does not apply to you.  

How to meet the income threshold:

Meeting the income threshold can be achieved by relying on money from a variety of sources. These include employment, pensions, savings, self-employment or dividends from shares. However, whichever way you choose, you still have to meet the threshold of £18,600 a year. For a lot, this can be a high threshold to meet especially since this is over the national minimum wage.


Luckily, there is an exception. If you or your partner are receiving certain benefits, then you only need to receive a lower threshold of ‘adequate maintenance’. If you receive:

  • Carers allowance,
  • Disability living allowance,
  • Severe disablement allowance,
  • Industrial injuries allowance,
  • Attendance allowance,
  • Personal independence allowance (PIP),
  • Armed forces independence payment,
  • Constant attendance allowed, or
  • Police injury pension

then you do not need to meet the £18,600 threshold.

Showing you need adequate maintenance:

To show that you are an exception and only need to demonstrate adequate maintenance, you must provide documentation. This is in the form of Official letters confirming the benefit your receive and bank statements.

If you can provide the relevant documents, then you only need to meet ‘adequate maintenance’, which is lower than the income threshold.

How is ‘Adequate Maintenance’ calculated?

If you do not need to earn £18,600, the question is, what do you need to earn? This changes on a case-by-case basis, but the basic formula to calculate the adequate maintenance threshold is net income minus housing then compared to average income support available to a family of your size: take a  look at our adequate maintenance calculator, this will help give you an idea if you may meet the threshold.

Adequate Maintenance Calculator

Please note:

  • This calculator is only intended as an illustrative purpose, and should not be relied upon without the advice of a solicitor.
  • We will endeavour to keep all information updated but the comparable government figures are subject to change and therefore the result should always be confirmed with reference to this.
  • This calculator is only accurate for those without children and compared to an average childless couple on income support (if you have a child please call us and we can make an assessment for you).
  • Calculator last Updated on 30th March 2022

Other ways to meet the requirement:


If you cannot meet this adequate maintenance threshold by just your income, don’t worry, it is possible to make up the rest with savings.

Under the normal income threshold, you cannot rely on savings under £16,000. But, if you are applying for adequate maintenance you can, this means if you are just below the threshold you can make it up through savings.

It is, therefore, possible to rely on both benefits and cash savings to meet adequate maintenance, however, it is highly advisable that if you are attempting to combine your sources of income, then you should first consult a solicitor. It can be a very complicated process and the evidential requirements need to be handled with care.

Support from family and friends:

You cannot directly rely on support from third parties unless it is in the form of outright cash gifts. In which case you should keep the money for 6 months and rely on it as savings.

You can still rely on support from third parties but this would have to be under the new rule – See Article. This means any family members or friends who are willing to financially sponsor your application can help make up the rest of the requirement.

Applying under this requirement:

As mentioned, applying under this requirement is a complicated process and I would advise engaging the services of a solicitor to help you. You will need to provide detailed evidence and know that the income you receive is enough. This is tricky and should be done with care. Otherwise, your application could end up getting rejected, and this could cost you more money and take a long time.

If you have been affected by any UK immigration matter, please contact Solicitor Tito, a UK Immigration and Human Rights Solicitor, for a free initial consultation about your legal options. Call 07544 669131/01163800744 or on Skype: tito.mbariti

Cross Border Legal Ltd is a UK Solicitor law firm regulated by the under the Solicitor Regulations Authority and is Headed by Mr Tito Mbariti, a UK Immigration and Human Rights Solicitor who is a practising lawyer and member of the Law Society of England and Wales.