What Benefits Can I Claim If I Have Been Sacked From My Job?

The loss of a job causes a sudden blow to one’s income and tends to burden your expenses. Through this article, we will discuss all the benefits that may be available to you if you have been sacked from your job. For a detailed overview of how benefits are impacted by one’s employment status, we will also consider different situations of being unemployed and consider the benefits you may be able to claim at each one.

What Benefits Can I Claim If I Have Been Sacked From My Job?

If someone is sacked from their job, they can claim the below-listed benefits if they fulfil the qualifying conditions for each:

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

Claimants who have made the required number of 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. 

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

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 from a job.

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

What Benefits Can I Claim If I Resign From My Job?

If you resign from your job on professional terms and are able to provide evidence for having sound reasons for leaving your workplace, you may be able to claim the following benefits:

  • New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit

However, there are certain conditions that will apply for each benefit to be claimed. For instance, in the case of JSA, you should be under State Pension age, unemployed or working for less than 16 hours per week. Additionally, you should have made sufficient National Insurance contributions over the recent 2 to 3 years.

In the case of New Style Employment and Support Allowance, all of the above conditions will remain applicable; additionally, the claimant must be able to provide proof of a disability or health condition that has an impact on the number of hours that they are able to work. 

In order to claim Universal Credit, you or your partner are required to be under State Pension age and have saving equal to less than £16,000.

For Pension Credit, both you and your partner should have reached State Pension age. Otherwise one of you should be claiming Housing Benefit for people above State Pension age.

In addition to benefits claim, you may also be eligible for an income tax refund after your resignation and until you are able to find another job.

If you were claiming any other benefits than the ones listed above prior to your resignation, you may be able to continue claiming them as long as you are able to provide evidence of sound reason(s) for leaving your job. This may include any of the following reasons:

  • You have opted for Voluntary Redundancy 
  • Your pay was below the National Minimum Wage 
  • The working conditions failed to health and safety standards
  • You were being bullied or harassed at work
  • You had to work under a zero-hour contract

If you are unable to prove that your resignation was due to any of the above reasons, you may face a sanction on your benefits claim. This means that you will not be receiving any amount in benefits for a period of three months.

During this time, the DWP may provide you with a hardship payment. However, this will lead to lower payments for Universal Credit once your sanction period is over.

Can I Claim Universal Credit If I Quit My Job?

Yes, you can claim Universal Credit if you quit your job voluntarily. However, it is essential that are able to prove a “good reason” for quitting your job if you want to continue receiving your Universal Credit payments without any deductions.

According to Citizen’s Advice, good reasons for leaving your job (that will not affect your Universal Credit) payments include the following:

  • taking voluntary redundancy due to reasonable circumstances
  • weren’t paid according to the National Minimum Wage 
  • did not feel safe due to the lack of health and safety standards in the working conditions 
  • did not feel safe due to fear of being bullied or harassed 
  • worked on  a zero-hour contract

If claimants deliberately refuse a job or an increase in pay to avoid benefits reduction despite agreeing to it in their Claimants Commitment, they may be sanctioned by the DWP.

During this time, the DWP will offer you a “hardship payment” to cover your reduced income. However, should you accept this, you will then face reduced Universal Credit payments in the future.

When Do I Tell DWP That I Have A Job?

You should inform the Department for Work and Pensions immediately when you have a job, an increase in pay or any other change in circumstances that affect your eligibility criteria or the scale of payments that you receive in the form of Universal Credit (or any other state benefit). 

While communicating a change to the DWP, you should state your disposable income in such cases, which is the take-home amount after your deduction of taxes, NIC and pension fund from your gross income.

If you or your partner have to take care of a child and one of you have limited capability for work, you may be able to claim a work allowance despite one of the partners having a job. However, if you were taking the help of Universal Credit to pay mortgage interest payments, you will lose that claim once you get a job.

It must be kept in view that your Universal Credit payment does not automatically stop when you get a job. You will continue to receive the benefit, however, the amount will be reduced depending on your wages.

Which Change In Circumstances Affect Universal Credit?

Certain changes in your circumstances can bear an impact on the benefits you receive including Universal Credit. If you hide such facts from the authorities with the intention to avoid a reduction in your benefits, you may be penalised or taken to court. Therefore, it is advisable if you face any of the following situations, you must inform the relevant authorities by signing in to your Universal Credit account

  • a new mobile number, postal or email address
  • a change in your bank details
  • change of residence due to moving in with a partner
  • having a child
  • changes to your health condition
  • being unable to work due to an illness
  • starting to care for a child or disabled person
  • finding or finishing a job
  • changes to your earnings, savings, investments
  • changes to rental payments
  • changes to your immigration status (in case you’re not a British citizen)


Should someone be asked to leave their job, there are a number of benefits that they may be able to claim; especially those such as Jobseekers Allowance which does not consider the income and savings of your partner and can be claimed up to 6 months. Even if you leave your job through resignation, you can still claim state benefits; however, it is essential that you are not found guilty of deliberately leaving a job or not looking for one in order to continue claiming benefits.

FAQs: What Benefits Can I Claim If I Have Been Sacked From My Job?

Can I claim Universal Credit after being sacked?

Yes, you can claim Universal Credit after being sacked from your job, However, the amount that your get will depend on your income and savings as well as those of your partner.

How long after being sacked can I claim benefits?

You can apply for benefits immediately after losing a job but it can take a couple of weeks for payments to start coming in. If you have been asked to leave your job due to misconduct, benefits payments will take at least up to 13 weeks. This is a benefits sanction.

Does getting fired affect future employment?

It depends on the reason why someone was fired that future employment gets affected. Unless the reason is as serious as fraud or harassment, future employment is usually not affected.

Do you lose pension if sacked?

While your pension contributions will reduce as a result of the loss of a job; which may result in a lower pension amount; your state pension is not affected by being sacked.

Do you still get an NHS pension if you are sacked?

Unless someone has been sacked due to mishandling of public funds, they will get their NHS pension in due time.


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