Can I Claim Benefits If I Am Sacked For Gross Misconduct?

If you have been sacked from your job and are wondering whether you are still eligible to claim benefits, the answer to this question depends on the circumstances under which you were dismissed. Through this blog post, we will discuss whether someone who has been sacked for gross misconduct can claim benefits or not.

Can I Claim Benefits If I Am Sacked For Gross Misconduct?

Yes, you can claim benefits if you are sacked for gross misconduct. This includes the following benefits that individuals on a low income or without a job claim from the DWP:

  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Tax Credits

However, your payments can be delayed by 13 weeks if you are sacked for gross misconduct. This is called a “benefits sanction” and applies to cases when the DWP does not disqualify a claimant from the benefits they claim but does impose certain restrictions for inappropriate actions.

If you have been sanctioned from receiving benefits due to being sacked for gross misconduct you can contact your nearest Citizens Advice and apply for a hardship payment. This is a temporary arrangement to provide financial support to sanctioned claimants until their benefits payments are revived.

In the UK, there are three main types of dismissal:

  • dismissal for gross misconduct
  • dismissal for a reason not related to your conduct or capability
  • dismissal because of redundancy

If you have been dismissed for gross misconduct, you will not lose your eligibility to claim benefits, but there will be a delay in your payments. However, if you have been dismissed for a reason not related to your conduct or capability, you have been made redundant, and your benefits will not be affected.

On the other hand, if you have been sacked for gross misconduct but you think you have been dismissed unfairly and have evidence to support your claim, you should contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau.

They can help you claim breach of contract under a “wrongful dismissal” and help in avoiding sanction of benefits if you’ve been wrongfully sacked for gross misconduct.

What Benefits Can You Claim If You Are Sacked For Gross Misconduct?

The type of benefits you can claim when dismissed depends on your circumstances. However, being on a low income or without a job makes you eligible for unemployment benefits, such as New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance or hardship payments. 

Depending on your circumstances, you will be able to claim as per the following classification:

  • if you are between 18-24 years of age, you will receive £57.90 
  • if you are older than 25 years of age, you will receive £73.10
  • if you are a couple and both of you are older than 18 years of age, you can claim £114.85

This will provide financial support while you look for a new job, and they can help to cover basic living expenses. 

If you are on a low income and need financial support to maintain your cost of living, you can claim Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit as well as Council Tax Reduction.

The amount that you receive through payments will be decided by the DWP by taking into consideration the earnings of your partner (if any). 

If you have savings below £6,000, you can qualify for the full amount of Universal Credit. If your savings are between £6,000 and £16,000, the amount that you can claim will reduce with an increase in income.

What Is Classified As Gross Misconduct?

Gross misconduct is an act or omission that is so serious that it goes against the most fundamental of expectations of any employer. It is a form of misconduct that is a fundamental breach of the relationship of trust and confidence between the employer and employee. 

Examples of gross misconduct might include theft, violence, fraud, or intoxication at work. It is important to note that an employer must prove that an act or omission amounts to gross misconduct before it can dismiss an employee on this basis. 

The consequences of committing gross misconduct can vary depending on the severity of the act or omission. Employees who commit gross misconduct can find themselves dismissed without notice or risk being fined or imprisoned. In some cases, employers may opt to impose alternative sanctions such as suspension or demotion. 


In summary, if someone is sacked for gross misconduct, they can still claim benefits but they should be prepared to have their payments delayed. On the other hand, if you have been wrongfully accused of gross misconduct, an experienced employment law solicitor can provide you with the advice and support you need to make an informed decision about whether to pursue a claim.


Reasons you can be dismissed – GOV.UK

After you’ve been dismissed – Citizens Advice