I'm being made redundant, can I claim benefits?
Published 27 May 2016 by Kyri Levendi
Find out what help is available when you’ve been made redundant.
Being told you’re going to be made redundant can bring a lot of worry. You’re likely to be concerned about managing 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 benefits you could be entitled to.
What benefits can I receive?
Depending on your circumstances, you might be eligible for some of the following benefits.
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 two types of JSA: contribution-based and income-based.
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 few years.
From April 2016, the amount of contribution-based JSA is paid out as:
• £57.90 per week if you’re under 25
• £73.10 per week if you’re 25 or over
You could receive less if you have a pension or work part time.
Depending on your circumstances, you could also get income-based JSA while you claim contribution-based JSA.
You can get income-based JSA if your income and savings are low enough. There’s no limit for how long you can receive it and you don’t need to have made national insurance contributions in the past.
Your income-based JSA payments depend on the amount the government believe that you need to live on. This can vary from person to person depending on their circumstances. Factors that could affect this include:
• if you live alone or in a couple,
• if you or someone you look after is disabled,
• if you care for someone who has a disability,
• if you have savings over £6,000,
• if you have another income, or
• if you have housing costs like a mortgage.
When you claim JSA, you must go to the Jobcentre Plus office regularly and show that you’re looking for work. A work coach will help you put a plan together.
Child Tax Credit
To help with the cost of raising a child you can claim Child Tax Credit. You don’t need to work to claim this benefit and you will get money for each child that qualifies.
You must be over the age of 16 and responsible for the child to apply. The child must be under the age of 16, or between the age of 16 and 20 and in full time ‘non-advanced’ education. This means enrolled in school, college or on a training course.
The amount that you’ll receive will depend on your circumstances. This table shows the maximum amounts you could receive for the 2016 – 2017 tax year.
For each child
Up to £2,780
For each disabled child
Up to £3,140 (on top of the child element)
For each severely disabled child
Up to £1,275 (on top of the child element and the disabled child element)
You should try to claim tax credits before the Universal Credit system is rolled out to your area. Find out why in our blog.
If you pay rent you could be eligible for Housing Benefit to help manage the cost of this. You don’t have to work to get Housing Benefit but if you live with a partner only one of you can claim.
The amount you receive will depend on your circumstances and this can help to pay for part or all of your rent. For more information about Housing Benefit and what you need to be eligible, check out our blog.
Check what benefits you could be eligible for by using a Government benefit calculator.
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