Home > Redundancy > A Guide to Unemployment Benefits

A Guide to Unemployment Benefits

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 24 Feb 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]
I'm disabled for a long time I get highestdisabilty allowance and highest care and mobility I have a carer who's my partner to he's 65 in 3 weeks what do I do please 2017
Von - 24-Feb-17 @ 1:03 PM
I Dnt have job no money for three weeks I like to receive so money
Afg k - 21-Feb-17 @ 7:38 PM
Took the VES from civil service last march, now getting low in funds. May need to apply for unemployment benefit, but finding it a hassle. Knowing most of the business myself. Like further info and advice please
Dd - 13-Feb-17 @ 12:19 AM
Unemployed 2 weeks lost rented house , what can I claim?
Dodger - 9-Feb-17 @ 12:24 PM
Shaz - Your Question:
My present company want to terminate my contract with them by mutual agreement as my performance has dropped due to bereavement and personal issues. What benefits would I be entitled to please.

Our Response:
If you have paid your National Insurance for the last two years you will be entilted to Jobseekers Allowance. However, much also depends upon your personal circumstances, please see Entitledto link here. I hope this helps.
MoneyExpertise - 2-Feb-17 @ 10:48 AM
My present company want to terminate my contract with them by mutual agreement as my performance has dropped due to bereavement and personal issues.What benefits would I be entitled to please.
Shaz - 1-Feb-17 @ 9:57 AM
i work full time @ 40 hours and have to pay everything as my husband does not work at the moment and cant claim any relief from anywhere to help.no housing benefit, no job seekers allowance, no council tax relief and no tax credits. they have said he hasnt paid enough stamp and that my wage should be enough feel like we're drowning and no light at the end of the tunnel any suggestions
jacki - 29-Jan-17 @ 12:37 PM
Hi husband just lost his esa claim not enough points even though he has had cancer been for interview to go on jsa been told he has not enough national insurance contributions cos he has not worked for 2 half years and because i work for 22 half hours a week we are not entitled to any money is this right ????
Caro6 - 28-Jan-17 @ 3:36 AM
I snow 59 and what to leave my job of 19 years as I hate it
Fed up - 23-Jan-17 @ 5:53 PM
Lost job found out employer not paid NI and homeless through job
Will - 23-Jan-17 @ 2:24 AM
Jean - Your Question:
I took voluntary redundancy last August, paid rate b national insurance am I entitled to any financial support.

Our Response:
You may be entitled to Jobseekers Allowance, you can check via the link here.
MoneyExpertise - 19-Jan-17 @ 2:26 PM
pollyxyz - Your Question:
Can I get any other benefits.i am 70 yrs with a pension of 640 a month total income.my son lives with me.He is on jobseekers 70 a week.can I claim or him ,any other benefits

Our Response:
Please see Entitledto link here which will allow you to find out if you are eligible for any further financial help.
MoneyExpertise - 19-Jan-17 @ 2:11 PM
I took voluntary redundancy last August, paid rate b national insurance am I entitled to any financial support.
Jean - 18-Jan-17 @ 11:54 PM
Can I get any other benefits.i am 70 yrs with a pension of 640 a month total income.my son lives with me .He is on jobseekers 70 a week.can I claim or him ,any other benefits
pollyxyz - 18-Jan-17 @ 9:06 PM
My husband has just been made redudant we both get DLA me both highest mobility and me lowest carer as well. Our granddaughter who is 16 -and is in full time education . I just wanted to know what benefits I will get and will it be topped up with some sort of tax credit? Thanks
Bex - 17-Jan-17 @ 1:36 AM
my jsa has now been stopped im 51 always worked and paid N I. stamp what benefits can I clam .my partner is in full time work ?
huddy - 14-Jan-17 @ 2:28 PM
Abby - Your Question:
I am 40 and single. It has been necessary to give up work to look after my elderly mother who has health problems. We are moving into a house together shortly to make this easier. I do not want to claim unemployment benefit yet because I have made savings to keep me going for a while but I'm worried I'm not paying into my pension stamp now I'm not working and so I need to sign on in a sense to ensure that benefit is covered for my old age. How do I do this?

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will explain further.
MoneyExpertise - 10-Jan-17 @ 12:44 PM
I am 40 and single. It has been necessary to give up work to look after my elderly mother who has health problems. We are moving into a house together shortly to make this easier. I do not want to claim unemployment benefit yet because I have made savings to keep me going for a while but I'm worried I'm not paying into my pension stamp now I'm not working and so I need to sign on in a sense to ensure that benefit is covered for my old age. How do I do this?
Abby - 9-Jan-17 @ 6:23 PM
she - Your Question:
I am a 60 year old looking to move a long way. if I can not get a job how long do I have to wait to get help?

Our Response:
If you are an EEA national who has come to the UK and you want to claim certain means-tested benefits, you may have to satisfy the conditions of a test, known as the habitual residence test. In some cases the test can also appy to British citizens coming back to the UK after time spent abroad. Find out hereabout the habitual residence test and whether you need to meet the condtions of the test
MoneyExpertise - 9-Jan-17 @ 12:05 PM
i am a 60 year old looking to move a long way. if I can not get a job how long do I have to wait to get help?
she - 8-Jan-17 @ 4:50 PM
Vmicon - Your Question:
I have worked part time for the last 18 years and prior to that I worked full time. Now aged 62 I will shortly be made redundant. Am I able to claim any financial assistance? Thank you

Our Response:
Much depends upon the extent of your redundancy pay. However, you can find out via the Entitled To link here which will help advise further.
MoneyExpertise - 20-Dec-16 @ 2:25 PM
I have worked part time for the last 18 years and prior to that I worked full time. Now aged 62 I will shortly be made redundant. Am I able to claim any financial assistance? Thank you
Vmicon - 20-Dec-16 @ 12:19 PM
@Shell - If you resign it may affect you being able to receive benefits....but, if you get sacked it may affect you being able to get another job because you wont have a decent reference. It's catch 22 :(
Greg - 6-Dec-16 @ 2:23 PM
I'm having a disciplinary hearing soon I suffer from depression and I don't want to go back to work i just want to know is it better to resign or get sacked as I don't know the in and out of signing on again Please help
shell - 3-Dec-16 @ 4:41 PM
Gordi - Your Question:
I have recently had my contract of employment terminated after19 ys service due to accident whilst at work.At 59 years old and now being classed as having an disability what am I entitled to claim for.I have worked all my life never had to claim for any benefits My wife works 30 hrs per week & we live in social housing

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You can see more about what you can claim via the CAB link here . You can also check what benefits you will be eligible to claim via the EntitledTo link here. I hope this helps.
MoneyExpertise - 2-Dec-16 @ 11:23 AM
I have recently had my contract of employment terminatedafter19 ys service due to accident whilst at work...At 59 years old and now being classed as having an disability what am I entitled to claim for.I have worked all my life never had to claim for any benefits My wife works 30 hrs per week & we live in social housing
Gordi - 1-Dec-16 @ 4:04 PM
lindylou - Your Question:
I work 35 hrs a week at basic hourly rate I get housing benefit and working tax my husband is thinking of moving back in with me ,he is nearly 64 yrs old and is on jsa how much would he get we would be living as man and wife again thank you for advice

Our Response:
Please see Entitled To calculator here which will tell you what you should be paying.
MoneyExpertise - 15-Nov-16 @ 11:35 AM
i work 35 hrs a week at basic hourly rate I get housing benefit and working tax my husband is thinking of moving back in with me ,he is nearly 64 yrs old and is on jsahow much would he get we would be living as man and wife again thank you for advice
lindylou - 14-Nov-16 @ 3:46 PM
Income support will only give me £13 per week to live off, this is my only income, I care substantially for my dad who receives high rate DLA, he is 77, they asked me to claim carers, so I said I can't as my dad will lose his £65 per week premium, how do they suppose I can care and live on £13 a week?
Penn - 2-Nov-16 @ 10:43 PM
I care for my dad substantially, he receives high rate DLA, so I claimed income support, they told me to claim carers alliance but, I can't as my dad would be £65 a week worse off, because he will lose his severe disablement premium, so they decided to give me £13 a week to live off, how can I live on that?
Penn - 2-Nov-16 @ 10:39 PM
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