Individuals finding themselves unemployed can be faced with a range of financial concerns. The aim of this article is to explain whether someone who has been asked to leave their job can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance and the conditions under which they may be able to claim more than the basic rate. Additionally, we will also explore other benefits that can be claimed by someone who has lost a job, the number of required hours to be worked to claim JSA as well as the eligibility criteria.

Can You Claim Jobseeker’s Allowance If You Get Sacked?

Yes, you can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance if you get sacked from your job. 

Claimants who have made the required number of Class 1 contributions towards National Insurance for the past two tax years, prior to being sacked, will be able to claim New Style Job Seekers Allowance. They can claim this benefit for up to 6 months and it will be paid directly into their bank or credit union account on fortnightly basis. If you have a partner who has a separate income, their income will not count towards your JSA claim. 

If you run out of New Style Job Seekers Allowance, or you have not made the required amount of Class 1 contributions towards National Insurance, you can claim Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance. This is a means-tested benefit being replaced by Universal Credit.

To apply for Job Seekers Allowance, you can submit your claim online. You can expect to be contacted by a Jobcentre Plus Centre within 2 days asking you to come to their office for an interview. 

You will be required to carry your P45 and two forms to prove your identity at the interview. Once your interview is complete, you will be asked to sign an agreement stating that you will be actively looking for work while you receive JSA. This is your Claimant Committment. 

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

However, if you have been sacked from your job due to misconduct, refusal to take mandatory training or you have left the job without good reason, you may be sanctioned by the DWP. This means that while you remain eligible for JSA, you will not receive any payment for the initial 13 weeks of your claim being approved.

Similarly, if you do not apply for sufficient jobs during your JSA claim or fail to keep up with meeting with your Work Coach at the Job Centre, you may be sanctioned and lose certain payments.

During this time, if you are unable to provide basic necessities such as food and heating for yourself and your family, you will be able to receive a basic rate of JSA termed as “hardship payment”.

Which Other Benefits Can You Claim If You Get Sacked?

In addition to JSA, individuals who have been asked to leave their job can claim the following benefits, depending on their ability to meet the qualifying conditions for each:

  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Housing Benefit
  • Tax Credits
  • Universal Credit

If you need help with housing and child care costs, you can apply for Universal Credit. However, in this case, the amount that you receive through payments will also be decided by the DWP by taking into consideration the earnings of your partner (if any).

If you have savings blow £6,000, you can qualify for the full amount of Universal Credit. If your savings are between £6,000 and £16,000, you will be eligible for a reduced amount of UC payments. However, with savings above £16,000, you will no longer be eligible for a UC claim.

If you were claiming Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit before losing your job, you can apply for Tax Credits due to a fall in income. On the other hand, if you were not receiving these benefits earlier, you will have to apply for Universal Credit.

If you do not have sufficient income and savings, you may also qualify for the housing element of Universal Credit to help you manage rental payments. Additionally, you can also apply for Council Tax Reduction (CTR). If you do not qualify for CTR, you can request the local council office to extend your instalments from 10 to 12 annually so that you have to pay a lesser amount each month.

If they have been claiming any of these benefits such as Universal Credit before they lost their job, the claimant will experience an increase in payments due to a sudden fall in income. However, if someone was asked to leave a job due to misconduct, their benefits claim will not start immediately and may take up to 13 weeks for payments to start coming in. The reason for this is the benefits sanction that delays claims due to the reason for being asked to leave a job.

In addition to claiming benefits, you may get a tax reduction as well as a tax refund due to decreased income.

Who Is Eligible For Job Seekers’ Allowance?

Those seeking job seekers allowance must be able to fulfil the following criteria:

  • aged 18 years or above
  • under state pension age
  • currently unemployed or working for less than 16 hours per week
  • previously held a job
  • available for and looking for work
  • have employment rights in the UK
  • previously paid National Insurance (in the recent 2 to 3 years)
  • currently not in full-time education
  • do not have an illness or disability that prevents being employed
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales

Should the above criteria be fulfilled, candidates will be able to claim JSA for 6 months; after which they will be advised by their work coach with regards to employment options.

It must be noted that the claimant’s or their partner’s savings do not disqualify them from receiving JSA.

How Many Hours Should I Work To Claim JSA?

Those seeking Job Seekers Allowance must be able to fulfil the following criteria:

  • aged 18 years or above
  • under state pension age
  • currently unemployed or working for less than 16 hours per week
  • previously held a job
  • available for and looking for work
  • have employment rights in the UK
  • previously paid National Insurance (in the recent 2 to 3 years)
  • currently not in full-time education
  • do not have an illness or disability that prevents being employed
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales

Should the above criteria be fulfilled, candidates will be able to claim JSA for 6 months; after which they will be advised by their work coach with regards to employment options.

It must be noted that the claimant’s or their partner’s savings do not disqualify them from receiving JSA.

Once their JSA application is approved, candidates may expect payments on a fortnightly basis as per the bank account details shared during their claim. Applicants under the age of 25 may receive £59.20 per week while older candidates may expect £74.70 as JSA. It should be noted that people who are either unemployed or working for less than 16 hours per week, may be entitled to Universal Credit in addition to their JSA claim. 

Is It Better To Work 16 Or 20 Hours to Claim Benefits?

It appears that in most cases, claimants are better off working for 16 hours per week as compared to 20 hours. The reason for this is that as incomes rise with an increase in the number of working hours, the benefits claim of claimants reduces. As a result of this, they find themselves with a reduced income through earnings and benefits.

For instance, if you claim Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance, you must work less than or equal to 16 hours to be eligible for the benefit. If you work for more than 16 hours, you will be considered as working full time and will not qualify for the benefit claim. If you claim IS or JSA, your partner can only work less than or equal to 24 hours.

If you and your partner can no longer claim IS or JSA due to working for 20 hours or more per week, you can apply for Working Tax Credits. To qualify for WTC, the following conditions are to be met:

  • A claimant who is single and responsible for a child should work a minimum of 16 hours per week.
  • A claimant who qualifies for the disability element or who is above the age of 60 years should work a minimum of 16 hours per week.
  • Claimants who apply as a couple and are responsible for a child should work at least 24 hours between them. This means that one of them should work at least 16 hours per week.
  • Claimants who do not fall in any of these categories but are more than 25 years of age must work a minimum of 30 hours per week. 

Conclusion:

The above discussion makes it clear that someone who has been sacked from their job can still claim JSA. To be eligible for JSA, claimants must essentially be under state pension age, currently unemployed or working for less than 16 hours per week, previously held a job, available for and looking for work, have employment rights in the UK, previously paid National Insurance (in the recent 2 to 3 years) and currently not be in full-time education. Claimants who are found to have left a job without good reason or have been sacked on account of misconduct or refusal for training can expect to be sanctioned and face a delay of up to 13 weeks to receive their JSA payments.

FAQs: Can You Claim Jobseeker’s Allowance If You Get Sacked?

What can I claim if I’ve been sacked?

If you have been sacked from your job, you can claim Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Tax Credits.

Can I claim JSA if I am sacked for gross misconduct?

While you can claim JSA if you have been sacked for gross misconduct; however you will be sanctioned by the DWP. This means that despite your eligibility for the benefit, you will not receive any payment for the first 13 weeks.

Can I say I quit if I was fired?

While technically you may quit if you are being fired but verbal statements will not hold value. What will count in terms of being considered as sacked or resigned is whether you have turned in a written resignation before receiving a termination letter.

Do you get paid after dismissal?

Yes, you are supposed to get paid after dismissal. The payment includes your salary up to the date of dismissal, any unpaid dues and reimbursements.

Does getting fired affect future employment?

Unless someone is fired on account of harassment or embezzlement of funds, getting fired does not significantly affect future employment.

References:

Benefits and tax credits when you’ve lost your job | MoneyHelper.

Out of work benefits – what are you entitled to after a job loss? | CashLady

After you’ve been dismissed – Citizens Advice

Lost Your Job? Dismissal Benefits that You Can Claim – Cashfloat

After you’ve been dismissed – Citizens Advice

Benefits and tax credits when you’ve lost your job | MoneyHelper

Money-borrowing/dismissal-benefits

Out of work benefits – what are you entitled to after a job loss? | CashLady

Being made redundant: finding work, claiming benefits and managing debts – GOV.UK

Better-off-working-less-hours

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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