DWP benefits you could be entitled as unemployment is on the rise | Personal Finance | Finance

Britain’s jobs market is cooling with more people out of work and a decline in vacancies.

Figures out today show unemployment has risen to 4.3 percent – the highest level since last summer – with further increases on the cards.

At the same time, those out of work are finding it increasingly difficult to get a job due to a fall in vacancies.

The figures come from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) whose director of economic statistics Liz McKeown said: “We continue to see tentative signs that the jobs market is cooling, with both employment from our household survey and the number of workers on payroll showing falls in the latest periods.

“At the same time the steady decline in the number of job vacancies has continued for a twenty-second consecutive month, although numbers remain above pre-pandemic levels. With unemployment also increasing, the number of unemployed people per vacancy has continued to rise, approaching levels seen before the onset of COVID-19.”

If you are looking for a new job, are out of work or affected by redundancy you may be entitled to benefits, chiefly Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Universal Credit.

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

To be eligible you will need to have both:

worked as an employee

paid Class 1 National Insurance contributions, usually in the last 2 to 3 years (National Insurance credits can also count)

You will not be eligible if you were self-employed and only paid Class 2 National Insurance contributions, unless you were working as a share fisherman or a volunteer development worker.


You will also need to:

  • Be 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 or 17)
  • Be under the State Pension age
  • Not be in full-time education
  • Be available for work
  • Not be working at the moment, or be working less than 16 hours per week on average
  • Not have an illness or disability which stops you from working
  • Live in the UK

While you receive JSA, you’ll need to take reasonable steps to look for work as agreed with your work coach.

Your savings and your partner’s income and savings will not affect your claim.

You can get New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for up to 182 days (about 6 months). After this you can talk to your work coach about your options.

How much you are entitled to depends on your age

JSA weekly amounts by age:

Up to 24: up to £71.70

25 or over: up to £90.50

How you are paid

All benefits, pensions and allowances are usually paid into your bank, building society or credit union account.

You may have to wait up to seven days after applying for your JSA to start, and up to two weeks after that to get your first payment.

Your first payment may not be for the full amount.

After your first payment – payments will usually be made every two weeks and they will be the full amount.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly – or twice a month for some people in Scotland.

You may be able to get Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or need help with your living costs. You could be:

  • Out of work
  • Working (including self-employed or part time)
  • Unable to work, for example because of a health condition

To claim you must:

  • Live in the UK
  • Be aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
  • Be under State Pension age
  • Have £16,000 or less in money, savings and investments

If you already get other benefits Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits and tax credits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

If you live with your partner, you will both need to claim for Universal Credit. You must make a joint claim for your household, even if your partner is not eligible. How much you can get will depend on your partner’s income and savings, as well as your own.

Other advice, such as help with how to find work, health, and budgeting is available here

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