Home > Redundancy > A Guide to Unemployment Benefits

A Guide to Unemployment Benefits

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 16 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Unemployment Benefits Redundancy

Unemployment is an issue that is affecting a steadily growing number of people. The long period of relatively low unemployment enjoyed in this country was rudely interrupted by the recession, and redundancy is now on the minds of many. Very few sectors are immune from the effects of the downturn, and it is therefore important for everybody to understand the help and benefits available to them in the event that they become unemployed.

Jobseekers Allowance

The main unemployment benefit is Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) - what most of us know as the dole. JSA is not granted to everyone who is out of work. Rather, you must be under the state pension age and actively seeking work. The official signing off your JSA at the Jobcentre will try to ascertain whether or not you are actually looking. However, it is possible to claim JSA while still doing some work; it is available to all those doing less than 16 hours work per week.

Jobseekers Allowance is available in either contribution-based or income-based form. Contribution-based JSA depends on the National Insurance payments that you have made over the course of the previous two years. If you have worked full-time and made your full NI contributions for the previous two years, you will receive contribution-based JSA for the full period - currently set at 182 days. Contribution-based JSA is paid at a rate of £51.85 per week for those aged 16-24, and £65.45 for those aged over 25.

Income-based JSA is paid to those who have not made National Insurance contributions. It is only available to those who do not have savings exceeding £16,000, and your entitlement will be reduced if your savings exceed £6,000. Your payments will also be cut if you have any income from part-time employment, or if your partner works more than 24 hours per week. Income-based JSA is paid at a rate of £65.45 per week if you are single, and £102.75 if you are in a couple.

Income Support

If you are unemployed because you are unable to work (for example because you are sick, a carer or a single parent), you may qualify for Income Support. This benefit is entirely means-tested, and is available to those aged between 16 and 59 with savings of less than £16,000. You must also be working less than 16 hours per week. You local Job Centre Plus will be able to advise you on how much you may be entitled to.

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is available to those who need help paying their rent. Each area of the country has a fixed maximum level of Housing Benefit to which you might be entitled. This is reviewed monthly in line with rental price changes. Your circumstances will dictate what proportion of this figure you are entitled to. Again, you will not qualify if you have more than £16,000 in savings. There is a significant amount of help available to those who are unemployed; consecutive Budgets have seen increases in the rates of redundancy pay.

If you find yourself unemployed, you should remember that there is no shame in claiming that to which you are entitled. You have been, or will be, a taxpayer, and the state is there to support you. Read more in our redundancy category.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Erbie - Your Question:
Hi I'm starting my own business and I am still employed full time if I was to leave my current employment to pursue my business am I allowed to claim any benefits or is there any financial support out there to help during this period

Our Response:
You may be able to get help via a government-based start up loan, please see link here , but you will have to pay it back.
MoneyExpertise - 19-Sep-17 @ 3:18 PM
Hi I'm starting my own business andI am still employed full time if I was to leave my current employment to pursue my businessam I allowed to claim any benefits or is there any financial support out there to help during this period
Erbie - 16-Sep-17 @ 6:24 PM
Pat - Your Question:
My hours are shortly to be cut to 16 (2 days) per week. I am 63, married and a home owner with no mortgage. My husband is self employed as a builder (he is 70 and still working but really needs to cut down). Will I be able to claim any working tax credits or similar?

Our Response:
You can see more via the Age UK link here which should help give you the information you need.
MoneyExpertise - 15-Sep-17 @ 3:00 PM
Pryce, Flora - Your Question:
My daughter age 30 has recently returned home from a two year working visa in Australia to be told she is not entitled to unemployment benefit for being out of the country even though she has paid national contributions all her working life before she went. She is a British citizen and she has a also been told she has to take some sort of English test to prove her reading/ English skills. Is this for real?????

Our Response:
It is not easy to return from abroad and claim benefits, regardless of whether your daughter has paid her National Insurance contributions, please see link here.
MoneyExpertise - 14-Sep-17 @ 3:21 PM
My daughter age 30 has recently returned home from a two year working visa in Australia to be told she is not entitled to unemployment benefit for being out of the country even though she has paid national contributions all her working life before she went. She is a British citizen and she has a also been told she has to take some sort of English test to prove her reading/ English skills. Is this for real?????
Pryce, Flora - 12-Sep-17 @ 3:51 PM
My hours are shortly to be cut to 16 (2 days) per week.I am 63, married and a home owner with no mortgage.My husband is self employed as a builder (he is 70 and still working but really needs to cut down).Will I be able to claim any working tax credits or similar?
Pat - 8-Sep-17 @ 2:04 PM
Surat- Your Question:
I lost job my age 61 I got 16000 sving I wor k 1984 woht bnefit I gat

Our Response:
Please see Entitledto link here which will help answer your question.
MoneyExpertise - 22-Aug-17 @ 2:45 PM
Johno- Your Question:
My son finished school last year but starts uni in September as he took a year out to work and travel. Since returning from his trip in July he hasn't been able to find a job, is he entitled to any allowance? Thanks

Our Response:
You can find out via the Entitledto link here which should help you further.
MoneyExpertise - 21-Aug-17 @ 2:09 PM
my son finished school last year but starts uni in September as he took a year out to work and travel. Since returning from his trip in July he hasn't been able to find a job, is he entitled to any allowance? Thanks
Johno - 20-Aug-17 @ 5:29 PM
I lost job my age 61 i got 16000 sving i wor k1984 woht bnefiti gat
Surat - 18-Aug-17 @ 11:53 AM
Hello, I have a quick question about about unemployment benefits. My boyfriend and I are thinking about moving to Germany. It is not sure if he will instantly find a job there. Would he be eligible to receive benefits in the UK? WR SSusi
SSusi - 12-Aug-17 @ 3:18 PM
Trish - Your Question:
My granddaughter who is 17 and has left home and living with me and my husband for the time being. She was in college but is not going back. can she claim any benefits while she is looking for a job

Our Response:
By law your granddaughter should be in full-time further education, or working. So, unfortunately she would not be able to claim benefits, except possibly hardship ones. You can find out more via the Turn2Us link here.
MoneyExpertise - 11-Aug-17 @ 11:19 AM
My granddaughter who is 17 and has left home and living with me and my husband for the time being. She was in college but is not going back. can she claim any benefits while she is looking for a job
Trish - 10-Aug-17 @ 4:57 PM
Rob - Your Question:
Hi I'm just wondering if I could claim any money as I don't work

Our Response:
Please see Entiltedto link here which will help you further.
MoneyExpertise - 8-Aug-17 @ 3:46 PM
Hi I'm just wondering if I could claim any money as I don't work
Rob - 8-Aug-17 @ 1:32 PM
Jay - Your Question:
My partner's son, currently working full time in Manchester is leaving that area to live in Wales near to family and friends. He will have to give up work to move and will need his own accommodation. Will he be able to get any assistance/benefits until he finds work in the new area.

Our Response:
If your partner's son leaves work of his own accord, he may not be eligible to claim benefits, please see Entitledto link here which will give more information regarding what he can and cannot claim.
MoneyExpertise - 7-Aug-17 @ 4:15 PM
My partner's son, currently working full time in Manchester is leaving that area to live in Wales near to family and friends. He will have to give up work to move and will need his own accommodation. Will he be able to get any assistance/benefits until he finds work in the new area.
Jay - 6-Aug-17 @ 10:37 PM
JB - Your Question:
I've been made redundant but have more than £16000 in savings (fortunately!)I've used benefit calculators but they say I'm entitled to nothing - is that right? I've paid NI since 1989.Should I register as unemployed even if I'm not expecting benefits?

Our Response:
You may be entitled to apply for Jobseekers Allowance, if you have paid National Insurance for over two years and you intend looking for work, please see link here .
MoneyExpertise - 1-Aug-17 @ 3:06 PM
Non - Your Question:
Hi. I'm 47 years old and I'm a child care provider. Currently my job as a private nanny came to and end. I live with my partner who works. What benefits am I able to claim.

Our Response:
If you are looking for another job, then you may be able to pay Jobseekers Allowance if you have paid National Insurance for the previous two years. You can see more via the Entitledto link here .
MoneyExpertise - 1-Aug-17 @ 10:18 AM
I've been made redundant but have more than £16000 in savings (fortunately!) I've used benefit calculators but they say I'm entitled to nothing - is that right? I've paid NI since 1989. Should I register as unemployed even if I'm not expecting benefits?
JB - 1-Aug-17 @ 9:50 AM
Hi . I'm 47 years old and I'm a child care provider. Currently my job as a private nanny came to and end . I live with my partner who works . What benefits am I able to claim .
Non - 30-Jul-17 @ 8:28 PM
Lib - Your Question:
I was made redundant 3 years ago. I have been living abroad the last year & half. I am now back in the UK but I am Ill & unfit for work at the moment. I am 54. Can I claim any benefits?

Our Response:
Depending on how long you've been out of the country, you may have to satisfy the conditions of a test, known as the habitual residence test (HRT) before you're allowed to make a claim, please see CAB link here.
MoneyExpertise - 28-Jul-17 @ 12:37 PM
Andrew - Your Question:
Hi, my son has just given up his part time job and will be unemployed for 1 month,while he waits to start his Masters in mid August,Is he entitled to any form of benefit? thanks Andrew

Our Response:
You can find out more via the Entitledto link here .
MoneyExpertise - 28-Jul-17 @ 11:37 AM
Lib - Your Question:
I was made redundant 3 years ago. I have been living abroad 5he last year & half. I am now back in the UK but I am I'll & unfit for work at the moment. I am 54. Can I claim any benefits?

Our Response:
If you're a UK or an Irish citizen coming to live in the UK from abroad you may want to claim certain means-tested benefits. Depending on how long you've been out of the country, you may have to satisfy the conditions of a test, known as the habitual residence test (HRT) before you're allowed to make a claim, please see link here .
MoneyExpertise - 27-Jul-17 @ 2:39 PM
Amy - Your Question:
Im 17 years old and have 20 days until I have my baby at the moment I am getting income support but I am wondering if there is anything else I can claim? And im unemployed

Our Response:
You can see more via the Turn2Us link here which should be able to help you further.
MoneyExpertise - 27-Jul-17 @ 12:39 PM
I was made redundant 3 years ago. I have been living abroad the last year & half. I am now back in the UK but I am Ill & unfit for work at the moment. I am 54. Can I claim any benefits?
Lib - 27-Jul-17 @ 3:01 AM
hi, my son has just given up his part time job and will be unemployed for 1 month,while he waits to start his Masters in mid August,Is he entitled to any form of benefit? thanks Andrew
Andrew - 26-Jul-17 @ 9:57 PM
I was made redundant 3 years ago. I have been living abroad 5he last year & half. I am now back in the UK but I am I'll & unfit for work at the moment. I am 54. Can I claim any benefits?
Lib - 26-Jul-17 @ 9:34 AM
Im 17 years old and have 20 days until i have my baby at the moment i am getting income support but i am wondering if there is anything else i can claim? And im unemployed
Amy - 25-Jul-17 @ 9:40 PM
Sue - Your Question:
I'm 60 years old the carer for my 7 yr old grandson and after 17 years of working for the same company I have been offered a settlement package of 15k. What benefits can I claim for?

Our Response:
You can check via the Entitledto link here.
MoneyExpertise - 21-Jul-17 @ 2:50 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Swissone
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    Moved back to the U.K. Last November. My only income is a Swiss pension paid monthly, about £3000 at present exchange rate.…
    21 September 2017
  • Working mummy
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    Hey, I've just been paid for my first month at work. I earned just over £1,700 and was taxed £146 and £123 NI. This seemed…
    20 September 2017
  • MoneyExpertise
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Erbie - Your Question:Hi I'm starting my own business and I am still employed full time if I was to leave my current…
    19 September 2017
  • MoneyExpertise
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    Mel - Your Question:I got a self assessment for April 2015 to April 2016 and I appear to not have paid any tax on the 2…
    19 September 2017
  • MaxL
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    @harey2805 - it's swings and roundabouts. If she wants more take-home pay then self-employed means she will be able to fill in…
    18 September 2017
  • Mel
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    I got a self assessment for April 2015 to April 2016 and I appear to not have paid any tax on the 2 employments I had over this…
    18 September 2017
  • Erbie
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Hi I'm starting my own business and I am still employed full time if I was to leave my current employment to pursue my…
    16 September 2017
  • harey2805
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    My wife (40) is working 2 days a week for £150 a day. She is also likely to be required for about 20 additional days throughout…
    16 September 2017
  • MoneyExpertise
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Pat - Your Question:My hours are shortly to be cut to 16 (2 days) per week. I am 63, married and a home owner with no…
    15 September 2017
  • MoneyExpertise
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    Leeh123 - Your Question:Hi I work seasonal so I do a lot of hours and through June, July and august I've been getting paid…
    15 September 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the MoneyExpertise website. Please read our Disclaimer.