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Lost My Job What Benefits Can I Claim?

Money Savings Advice I've lost my job what benefits can I claim?

If you have just lost your job, the ‘benefits’ minefield can be difficult to understand. What benefits are you entitled to, how do you claim them, and how quickly can you get them. Short-term cash flow is very often a major problem, but there is help at hand.

How Much Money Do You Get for Job Seekers Allowance?

You are entitled to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance if you have lost your job. You could get up to £58.90 per week if you are younger than 25, or up to £74.35 if you’re 25 or over. Other benefits can help with housing and essential costs.

While the UK benefits system attracts more than its fair share of bad press, it has for many people proven to be the lifeline they needed. If you foresee problems at work and potential redundancies, then you should start looking towards the benefits system sooner rather than later.

Know what you need to do, when you need to do it and who you need to speak to.

Continue reading to see what benefits you can claim

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Am I Entitled to a Redundancy Payment?

Under current regulations, you will only be entitled to a redundancy payment if you have worked for your employer for at least two years. The system is a little complicated, but we have summarised it below:-

AgeRedundancy payment
Under 22Half a week’s pay for each full year
Between 22 and under 41One week’s pay for each full year
41 and over1 ½ week’s pay for each full year

In the event that your employer goes bust, you are still entitled to claim your redundancy payment and any additional payments from a central government fund. This fund is financed via national insurance payments and is there to help those deprived of redundancy payments.

More than one million people a year get debt advice, but there are about 8.3 million who are over-indebted. A recent review for the Government broadly estimated that advice needs to double in the next few years

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Can I Get Help With My Rent?

If you have lost your job and are in a private/local authority rental property, then you can apply for housing benefit. The degree of support will depend upon the rent you pay and any additional income in your household, such as that from a partner.

Under the new system, housing benefit is paid via the universal credit system, which is amalgamating together an array of different benefits into one payment.

Can I Get Help With My Mortgage?

In recent years we have seen some mortgage assistance schemes withdrawn although the mortgage interest scheme (MIS) is still open. This support is available to those claiming an income-related benefit although it is offered as a repayable loan.

It is also worth noting that the financial assistance will only cover your mortgage interest and will not include capital repayments. You may also be eligible to mortgage-related assistance under the universal credit umbrella although there is a three month waiting period before payments commence.

As you would expect, if you find employment in the meantime, you must inform the authorities, and any mortgage support would be withdrawn.

Can I Get Help With My Council Tax?

Local authorities offer assistance with regard to council tax for those with no income, in this instance as a consequence of unemployment, as well as those on a low income. It is very important to make your claim as soon as you have been made redundant in order that financial help can commence as soon as possible.

In the early months of unemployment, cash flow will very often be tight, and it can be challenging to make ends meet. So, the quicker you make your claim, the quicker you will receive assistance.

I Can No Longer Afford My Debt Repayments; What Should I Do?

If you are struggling with your debts as a consequence of unemployment, it is very important to contact your finance providers as soon as possible. Be honest and upfront, tell them your situation and if possible also include a plan for the future.

If you can approach your creditors with a viable alternative repayment plan which has been costed and seems achievable, this will improve your chances of getting help. If you don’t tell your creditors what is happening, how can they be expected to assist you?

Should I Release Equity From My Home?

Many people will only even consider releasing equity from their property as a last resort. However, equity from your property is not earning an income and is not guaranteed. The value of your equity will obviously fluctuate with the value of your property and also the level of mortgage debt outstanding.

So, if you are struggling to make ends meet after being made redundant, then it may be sensible to release at least some equity to repay any outstanding debts and release some of the financial pressure.

Are Benefits Means-Tested?

Some elements of the benefits system are means-tested; therefore, any payments will depend upon overall household income and capital available. For example, if you were to receive a redundancy payment, this may impact the level of benefits available to you.

This is a system that seems to constantly change and the recent upheaval to the universal credit system is still ongoing. It is, therefore, advisable to approach your local jobcentre and request a face-to-face meeting.

Will I Lose My Home if I Can’t Pay My Mortgage in the Short-Term?

Many people believe that their mortgage provider will repossess their home for resale as soon as they start to fall behind on their mortgage payments. This is a last resort in the event that your income changes significantly, you will need to contact your mortgage provider.

You may qualify for the mortgage interest scheme which will at least ensure that some payments are made while you seek employment. It may indeed be possible to switch your mortgage from a capital repayment to an interest-only mortgage in the short-term while you restructure your finances.

The repossession and resale of homes is a last resort and far less frequent than many people automatically assume.


Unemployment is a stark reality for many people very often through no fault of their own. Overnight your income can be slashed, your life turned upside down, and it can sometimes be difficult to see beyond tomorrow. There are ways and means of reducing your expenditure; there are numerous benefits you can apply for and contacting your creditors should also be high on your list of things to do.

Where possible, if you have been made aware unemployment is a possibility, then it is sensible to make plans and be ready to put them into action in a worst-case scenario.

Quick Debt FAQs

You only need to ask somebody who suffers from money anxiety disorder to realise how this can impact your life. It can prompt extreme behaviour from an individual which goes above and beyond just being concerned about money – it becomes a kind of obsession.

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The debt snowball method is a process by which you make minimum payments on all of your outstanding debts. Any surplus capital is used to top up repayments on your smallest debt which will be paid off quicker, and then you move onto the next smallest debt.

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Many local authorities in the UK will offer a local welfare assistance scheme which is there to help those experiencing extreme hardship. It is there to help with the cost of essential goods such as food, clothing, household items and covering your utility bills.

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While your home will be recognised as an asset and could potentially be sold to repay your creditors, this is not as straightforward as many people assume. Upon bankruptcy, the legal ownership of your home would be transferred to a trustee to prevent a sale.

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The issue of a CCJ will not be the first time that the creditor has tried to contact you to arrange payment of an outstanding debt, or an alternative arrangement. Ignorance, burning correspondence, binning the letters and just burying your head in the sand is not the answer.

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A CCJ will come after a default note has been added to your credit file will certainly have a huge impact on your credit score. Traditionally, like other debt management arrangements such as IVAs, a CCJ will remain on your credit file for six years.

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How Can Money Savings Advice Help You Reducing Your Debt?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s debt release brokers. They have already helped thousands of people reduce and remove a high percentage of debt, and if you are struggling with debt, they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these brokers, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Mark has been writing professionally for over ten years for the financial sector. Having started in the financial world as a stock-broker in central London and then moving to equities trader Mark is one of our senior financial writers who has a vast knowledge of multiple financial sectors.

Mark has been writing professionally for over ten years for the financial sector. Having started in the financial world as a stock-broker in central London and then moving to equities trader Mark is one of our senior financial writers who has a vast knowledge of multiple financial sectors.

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