(Updated 31 October 2023)

What Benefits Can You Get When You Lose Your Job?

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Losing your job can be an extremely stressful and straining time for many different reasons – one of the biggest reasons being your loss of income. Whether you only have your own finances to deal with, or you are the sole income-provider for your household, it is vital that you know which benefits you are eligible for as soon as possible.

Knowing what your options are whilst you are out of work can help you cope with immediate financial pressures, such as priority debts like your mortgage, council tax, utility bills and more. With the help of our new benefits calculator, you can find out your entitlement in as little as 5-10 minutes, and help you on your journey to claiming benefits after your job loss. To discover more about this, carry on reading this article.

Benefits You May Be Entitled To When You’ve Lost Your Job

There are a number of different factors which determine which benefits and entitlements you will be able to receive. This can range from how you left your job, how long you had been working there, your national insurance contributions and your household situation. Especially during the cost of living crisis, and household debts increasing quickly, it is key to know what you could be claiming.

Statutory Redundancy Pay

If your employer made you redundant, you will probably be entitled to statutory redundancy pay after your job loss if:

  • You were an employee at the company
  • You have made sufficient National Insurance contributions
  • You had been working for this specific employer a minimum of at least two years

Alongside these factors, you may be denied redundancy pay if:

  • Your employer offers to keep you on
  • Your employer offers you suitable alternative work which you refuse without good reason

In some circumstances, contractual redundancy pay may be available to you, so make sure that you check your employment contract to see if it has been included. If you feel you are eligible for redundancy pay, it is important that you contact your employer. You can find more information about redundancy pay here.

If you have been fired

Unlike redundancy, being fired from your job may leave you with fewer options. Being fired from a job due to misconduct could impact your immediate eligibility for certain benefits. Your work coach at the Jobcentre Plus has the power to impose a sanction on your eligibility and stops you from receiving your benefits for a number of weeks.

New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

One of the most common benefits for those who have lost their job is the New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance. If you have paid (or been credited with) sufficient Class 1 National Insurance contributions over the past two to three years, you may be eligible for this benefit.

To qualify for the New Style JSA, you will need to be unemployed, or work for less than 16 hours per week. You will then need to attend an interview at a Jobcentre Plus Office to confirm your identity, and discuss your next steps with an advisor. You can claim this benefit for up to six months, and you will need to show that you are taking necessary steps to find yourself a new job in that time. Payment from the New Style JSA will be paid directly into your bank account every two weeks.

More information can be found on the Government’s website about New Style Jobseeker’s Allowances here.

Universal Credit

If you need to cover the cost of housing or raising children, you will also need to apply for Universal Credit. The amount you will receive from the Government will depend on your overall household income and savings, and you must apply jointly if you have a partner (even if they are not eligible).

Universal Credit is made up of a ‘basic allowance’, although this could be expanded if you pay for childcare, rent your home, have a disability or a health condition, or if you are a carer/care for a disabled child. Unlike the New Style JSA, there is no minimum working hours to claim Universal Credit, but it is a benefit which has work-related requirements.

To discover more about Universal Credit, read here.

Tax Credits & Housing Benefits

If you are already getting Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit already, then you will be able to submit a new claim for tax credits. However, in some cases, a job loss will be seen as a change in circumstances and you may be asked to make a new claim for Universal Credit. For those who are not currently receiving tax credits and have lost their job, they will also need to make a new claim for Universal Credit as they will not be eligible for Tax Credits.

You will need to tell the Tax Credit Office within 30 days if you have lost your job.

The same process applies for those who claim Housing Benefits. If you do qualify for Universal Credit, you will get housing benefits for two weeks after sending in your Universal Credit claim before it ceases.

Do you want to know which benefits you may be entitled to?

Though we have only listed some of the most important benefits to claim if you lose your job, it is a step in the right direction to managing your immediate finances. Our benefits calculator can help you estimate how much in benefits you are eligible for, and you can try it free of charge on our website. We also have a handy blog which details all the benefits our calculator takes into account, which you can read here.

Alternatively, if you have found yourself struggling with debt and need advice from a friendly and professional advisor, the team at Angel Advance are here for you. Use our free online debt advice tool today, or contact us to take control of your debts.

Don’t have an account with us and are looking for debt advice?

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Angel Advance provides online debt advice to get you back on track and make your finances more manageable.

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