I’m being made redundant; can I claim benefits?
14th Dec 2020
Being told you’re going to be made redundant can bring a lot of worry. You’re likely to be concerned about budgeting your finances, keeping up with your rental payments and finding a new job.
To make sure you know what help is available, we’re going to take you through the redundancy benefits you could be entitled to.
What benefits can you claim if you are made redundant?
Depending on your circumstances, you might be eligible for some of the following benefits after redundancy.
If you’re employed but capable of working, then you could apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). You need to be over the age of 18 and under the State Pension age to apply.
There are three types of JSA: contribution-based, income-based and "new style". To be eligible for any of these types of support, you need to meet the following basic conditions:
- working less than 16 hours a week
- available to work full-time
- actively looking for full-time work
- not in full-time education
- not claiming Income Support
- not having an illness or disability which means you cannot work
You also cannot claim if you're self-employed.
You can get contribution-based JSA for up to six months. Whether you’re eligible or not depends on whether you’ve been working and paying enough National Insurance contributions over the last two years.
Depending on your circumstances, you could also get income-based JSA while you claim contribution-based JSA.
Universal Credit has replaced income-based JSAs, meaning you can only apply for a new claim if you receive (or recently stopped receiving) a benefit with a severe disability premium (SDP). You can usually tell if you've received an SDP if you get another benefit which states that you receive it because of a severe disability.
If you don't fit these criteria, you may need to apply for Universal Credit instead.
New style JSA
You can claim the new style JSA for up to six months if you have worked and paid Class 1 National Insurance in the last two to three years. You cannot claim this type of JSA if you currently receive (or recently stopped receiving) an SDP; however, you can claim a new style JSA even if you aren't a British citizen.
How much JSA can I receive?
Each JSA pays the same amount each week, which is referred to as a "personal allowance". These amounts are:
- £58.90 for those aged 18-24
- £74.35 for those aged 25 and over
- £116.80 if you claim income-related JSA as a couple
The amount you get can vary from this as personal circumstances may be taken into consideration (e.g. if you work part-time, you'll likely get slightly less than this).
What should you do if your circumstances change?
You should report any changes to your circumstances immediately, as otherwise you run the risk of being fined £50. Such changes could include:
- starting or stopping work, education, training or an apprenticeship
- changes to your or your partner’s income or working hours
- changing address
- changing your name
- someone moving in or out of your address (e.g. partner)
- changes to the benefits you or anyone else in your house gets
- changes to your pension, savings, investments or property
- changes to other sources of income (e.g. student loans)
- changing your doctor
- any changes to a medical condition or disability
- going into a hospital, care home or sheltered accommodation
- going abroad for any period of time
You can report any change by calling the JSA helpline on 0800 169 0310. People who cannot hear or speak on the phone can use Relay UK to get in touch by dialling 18001 then 0800 169 0310. You can also write to the Jobcentre Plus office using the address on the letters you receive about your JSA.
Need more advice on budgeting? Take a look at our dedicated budgeting guides.
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