Home > Redundancy > A Guide to Unemployment Benefits

A Guide to Unemployment Benefits

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 21 Jul 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.

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[Add a Comment]
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
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?
Sue - 21-Jul-17 @ 1:48 PM
Am currently on sick but don't think I'll be able to go back to the line of work I done due to being a below knee amputee, I've heard you've got to apply for at least 2 jobs per week as classed as disabled can on apply for suitable jobs which might not make the amount needed to apply for in a week will this hinder my payments thanks
Weede - 20-Jul-17 @ 2:51 PM
Rilo - Your Question:
I will soon be transferring from IS to JSA, however I am 8 weeks pregnant with second child and a lone parent (first child is nearly 5.) What will happen?

Our Response:
You would need to speak to the DWP directly regarding this.
MoneyExpertise - 10-Jul-17 @ 12:29 PM
I will soon be transferring from IS to JSA, however I am 8 weeks pregnant with second child and a lone parent (first child is nearly 5.) What will happen?
Rilo - 9-Jul-17 @ 6:27 PM
I am unemployed for over 10 years and can never get a proper job,,, unfortunatly the market cards are already played with the big boss making a huge fortune and companies and buzness only hiring non europeans ,,, but unemployment money do help, is better then unemployent ... and no money..
oliver - 3-Jul-17 @ 11:28 AM
Unemployment benefits can help,, but what we need is jobs and help getting to work, real help,, not pretending to help.. less burocracy and more progressive..
oliver - 3-Jul-17 @ 11:27 AM
Masie - Your Question:
Hi, my Gran left me a flat in a trust. I had a rough time at uni suffering mental health. And dropped out. Can I sign on even though I rent out a couple of rooms in the flat to students. The flat is in the trust name but I get the rent. Struggling together on the job market and every month I get into debt

Our Response:
If you are earning an income from the rent, it is unlikely you would be eligible to receive benefits. However, if the income is very low you may be able to apply for JSA, please see link here .
MoneyExpertise - 30-Jun-17 @ 3:50 PM
Hi, my Gran left me a flat in a trust. I had a rough time at uni suffering mental health. And dropped out. Can I sign on even though I rent out a couple of rooms in the flat to students. The flat is in the trust name but I get the rent. Struggling together on the job market and every month I get into debt
Masie - 25-Jun-17 @ 8:10 PM
HolmfirthDavid - Your Question:
I emigrated to Australia 36 years ago, prior to this I worked full time for ten years. I am now 62 and planning on returning to the UK.What if any benefits could I get? I would have savings of £5000. I would be living with my elderly mother in her council house.Thank you in advance for any advice.

Our Response:
You will find this factsheet useful if you are a British citizen over State Pension age who moved abroad and who is now considering moving back to live permanently in the UK. Please see link here.
MoneyExpertise - 19-Jun-17 @ 3:30 PM
Reyno - Your Question:
My son is 19 never worked as went straight to college after school. Not had any benifits at all. He has finished college now. I work part time when benifit can he apply for while looking for work

Our Response:
A person can usually claim Jobseeker's Allowance if they are 18 or over, please see link here for more information.
MoneyExpertise - 19-Jun-17 @ 10:21 AM
I emigrated to Australia 36 years ago, prior to this I worked full time for ten years. I am now 62 and planning on returning to the UK. What if any benefits could I get? I would have savings of £5000. I would be living with my elderly mother in her council house. Thank you in advance for any advice.
HolmfirthDavid - 19-Jun-17 @ 8:05 AM
My son is 19 never worked as went straight to college after school . Not had any benifits at all . He has finished college now . I work part time when benifit can he apply for while looking for work
Reyno - 16-Jun-17 @ 9:32 AM
Julie - Your Question:
I have just been made unemployed after working for 40 years, am I entitled to claim JSA?

Our Response:
If you are up to date on your NI contributions and you are actively seeking work, then you are entitled to claim JSA until you reach state pension retirement age.
MoneyExpertise - 15-Jun-17 @ 3:00 PM
I have just been made unemployed after working for 40 years, am I entitled to claim JSA?
Julie - 14-Jun-17 @ 8:21 PM
Ann123 - Your Question:
Husband 67works.i have not worked 13 years.never made any claims. have no money only get grocery money from husband.sold all that is can over years am in entitled to any benefits.i am 62

Our Response:
You can check via the EntitledTo link here.
MoneyExpertise - 13-Jun-17 @ 2:24 PM
ajay - Your Question:
Hi I am 25 yrs old unemployed guy. monthly income is around 2500. kindly get me way how I can be benefited through unemployment agency. suugest me.

Our Response:
If you have a monthly income of £2500 per month, you would not be entitled to receive unemployment benefits.
MoneyExpertise - 13-Jun-17 @ 1:57 PM
I have just been laid off and have made contributions for the last two tax years. Do I claim income based job seekers allowance or contribution based job seekers allowance. What is the difference? I have almost no savings left. What else can I claim for please?-dental, optician,income support,council tax, I also have a dog and was told there is sometimes a small allowance to cover vet fees and food for a dog?? thank you for your help and advice.
yinny - 7-Jun-17 @ 4:02 PM
Can I make a back claim for benefits? I was made redundant on 31:08:2016. I didn't start work until 10:11:2016 or get paid until December.I'd worked for 10 years continuously before. Can I now claim?
Googler - 7-Jun-17 @ 4:44 AM
Husband 67works.i have not worked 13 years.never made any claims.. have no money only get grocery money from husband.sold all that is can over years am in entitled to any benefits.i am 62
Ann123 - 6-Jun-17 @ 1:00 PM
hi i am 25 yrs old unemployed guy. monthly income is around 2500. kindly get me way how i can be benefited through unemployment agency. suugest me.
ajay - 6-Jun-17 @ 10:22 AM
Hi, I am portuguese and have been working in the Uk for 7 years. I am being made redundant now and have decided that I will move back to Portugal. Can you please tell me if I am entitiled to any benefits? Where can I get advise about my rights? Thank you
Curious - 1-Jun-17 @ 11:12 PM
I have been claiming Universal Credit for a year as I couldn't go back onto JSA from being on ESA. I soon adapted to the routine of 5 hours a day jobsearch, 7 days a week including xmas day and so on. I have had quite a few interviews but never seem to be good enough as someone always seems to be better than me. I was offered a job last year but fell through as was suddenly offered to someone else. I have anxiety and low moods and live alone. I have a very tolerant and patient family who aren't surprised if I arrange something with them then drop out due to my waking up in the mornings usually in a bad mood. I feel very worthless. I have deductions from UC leaving me with 470 per month. After rent, there is barely enough left to get through the four weeks. I get paid the 4th every month sometimes some months are 5 weeks. I do get extra support from a charity which helps a lot but I still find I am skint the last week before payday. I end up borrowing from my long suffering dad who is on a pension himself so doesn't like to keep doing this. I don't get any help from the Jobcentre, just attend appointments that last literally for 5 minutes to check my jobsearch. I am 35 and spent the last few years signing on. I have had stints of work in between but since 2012 nothing really has happened and I get upset that I am in such a horrible situation. I have come close to going to a food bankbut find I cannot bring myself to it. I wish I didn't have so many worries and negative thoughts about myself as it isn't getting me no where. I wish I was back on JSA as being paid every two weeks was by far better, and you didn't have to pay your rent either. I envy those who are still able to claim JSA although being on Universal Credit does mean you can work 16 hours and be a bit better off.
NOWAYOUT - 27-May-17 @ 8:34 PM
Louise - Your Question:
My husband has been on contribution based jsa since January 2017,he has just been offered a 15 hour contract job but pay is monthly.will he get any tax back as he didn't work from Dec 2016- June 2017.also when should he sign off and do jobcentre give him his p45 back.

Our Response:
Why can't speculate whether he will get tax back, he would have to contact HMRC directly. Likewise, he would have to speak to Jobcentre Plus re; your additional question.
MoneyExpertise - 26-May-17 @ 12:36 PM
My husband has been on contribution based jsa since January 2017,he has just been offered a 15 hour contract job but pay is monthly .will he get any tax back as he didn't work from Dec 2016- June 2017.also when should he sign off and do jobcentre give him his p45 back.
Louise - 25-May-17 @ 8:13 PM
ShanClan - Your Question:
Hi. I have a sister who hasn't worked for 9 months and hasn't claimed any benefits in those 9 months either. She is 7 months pregnant. What are her options on benefits? She has moved in with me I am a single parent and was wondering if she's entitled to any benefits. Can anyone advise?

Our Response:
Please see Entitledto link here, which will help your sister find out whether she is eligible for benefits.
MoneyExpertise - 17-May-17 @ 10:53 AM
Hi. I have a sister who hasn't worked for 9 months and hasn't claimed any benefits in those 9 months either. She is 7 months pregnant. What are her options on benefits? She has moved in with me I am a single parent and was wondering if she's entitled to any benefits. Can anyone advise?
ShanClan - 16-May-17 @ 2:48 PM
None - Your Question:
I am a 62 yr my husband has low income.works 15 hrs a week.I have no income am I entitled to any Ben if it's.

Our Response:
Please see Entitledto link here which will help you further.
MoneyExpertise - 16-May-17 @ 2:05 PM
I am a 62 yr my husband has low income.works 15 hrs a week.I have no income am I entitled to any Ben if it's. .
None - 16-May-17 @ 11:02 AM
i am facing a disciplinary and its highly likely i will be dismissed after 15yrs employed in this company,i have never claimed any benefits in my life ,i am 61yrs old and dont think i will find anyone to employ me at this age ,what benefits will i be able to claim , i live in a private rented house and i wont be able to pay my rent if this is the outcome , i am married and my wife is contracted to 16 hrs a week .
steward - 13-May-17 @ 11:25 AM
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