If you recently lost your job, you may be eligible to receive Jobseeker’s Allowance benefits to help cover some of your expenses until you are able to find another job. These additional funds can be very beneficial and can help offset some of the costs associated with going out and looking for another job, such as transport costs and clothing for interviews.
Typically, these payments do not affect any Child Benefit or Child Tax Credit benefit you may be eligible for or already receiving. Below is some important information about the Jobseeker’s Allowance and how to make a claim.
Before you can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance, you must make sure that you are eligible to receive these benefits. First, you typically must be over the age of 18-years old but younger than State Pension age, although there are some exceptions. You cannot be working at a full-time job, but must be willing and able to work if an applicable job was available to you. You must also live in England, Wales, or Scotland. In addition, you must not be a full-time student at any educational institution and you must agree to actively search for a new job.
Types of Jobseeker’s Allowance
There are two different types of Jobseeker’s Allowance, including Contribution-Based and Income-Based. See below to determine the difference between this options and which one you are eligible for based on your specific set of circumstances.
- Contribution-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance. You can claim this type of benefit as long as you have made enough payments to the Class 1 National Insurance fund over the past two years. You can receive as much as £56.80 per week if you are under the age of 25-years old or £71.70 a week if you are over 25-years old. These benefits will last for 182-days. You income and/or savings account will have no effect on these payments, unless you are working a part-time job.
- Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance. If you have not contributed enough to the Class 1 National Insurance fund then you will receive the Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance. You will also receive a weekly payment of £56.80 if you are under 25-years old or a single parent under 18-years old, and £71.70 a week if you are over 25-years old or a single parent over 18-years old. Couples who sign up for these benefits at the same time can receive £112.55 a week. Any substantial amount of money you have in a savings account may limit the amount of benefit you receive.
Claiming Your Benefits
You can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance either on the phone or online. If you have previously made a claim within the past six month, you can make a rapid claim, which should take less than ten minutes. After making your claim, you will be scheduled to go in for a face-to-face interview. This interview is mandatory and you will not receive benefits if you do not show up for your appointment. During this interview, you will develop a plan to find another job and you will be required to sign a Jobseeker’s Agreement, which details this plan and list various things you must do to remain eligible for this benefit.
Once approved you will receive your benefit payments about every two weeks and it will be directly deposited into your bank account. You will also be required to attend regularly meetings to ensure that you are following the steps detailed in the Jobseeker’s Agreement. If you fail to meet these requirements, you risk losing your benefits for several weeks, months, or years. You must also report any changes as soon as they happen or risk losing your benefits.
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