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Unemployment benefit: How to claim

Whatever the reason you’re unemployed, there’s help out there for you.

Knowing what resources are available to you whilst searching for a new job could help give you the time and financial security needed to find your next position.

To help you find out more, here’s a quick guide to unemployment benefit:

What benefits are available to me?

The main unemployment benefits available to you are as follows:

Jobseekers Allowance

What is it? A benefit paid to people actively looking for work, whether they’re unemployed or on a low income.

How do I qualify? If you’re 18 or over (but below State Pension age), not in full time education, and actively seeking work, you may qualify for JSA.

How do I claim? You can claim online, on the phone or through Jobcentre Plus. However, you will have to attend an interview to complete your claim.

Housing Benefit

What is it? A benefit paid to those on a low income, which helps you pay for part, or all of your rent. Housing Benefit does not include payments for heating, water or food.

How do I qualify? To qualify you must pay rent, be on a low income or be claiming benefits. Your savings must also be below a particular figure (typically £16,000 - unless you get Guarantee credit of Pension Credit).

How do I claim? You can claim Housing Benefit through Jobcentre Plus.

Child Benefit

What is it? A regular, tax-free payment helping parents cope with

the cost of raising a family.

How do I qualify? Anyone responsible for a child under the age of 16 (or those aged 20 or over, who are still in education) can claim Child Benefit.

How do I claim? You can claim Child Benefit by filling out a Child Benefit CH2 form, and sending it to the Child benefit office. As with Jobseekers Allowance, you will need to attend an interview in order to claim.

Should I claim unemployment benefit?

To put it simply – yes.

Despite the negative stigma that sometimes unfairly surrounds claiming benefits, they are put in place for a reason. Looking for a new job can be incredibly stressful, especially when it comes to ensuring your finances are covered.

And, perhaps just as importantly, if you claim benefits while looking for a new job the government will continue to keep up your National Insurance payments on your behalf. This is important when it comes to your state pension upon retirement, amongst other things.

* Please note, the information outlined above is intended for general guidance purposes only, and is subject to change. This article was first written in December 2014.

For more detailed information about your rights to working in the UK, please visit: .

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