When you are made redundant from a job, it can be an extremely distressing period in your life. If you have financial responsibilities such as a mortgage, utility bills or family members to look after, there is no doubt that you will want to get a new income as quickly as possible.
Finding a new job doesn’t usually happen overnight – and that’s why it is common for people in this position to sign on for benefits. So, if you’re looking for a guide to everything you need to know about signing on, then you are in the right place. Keep reading our blog below to find out all the important details.
How Long After Being Made Redundant Can I Sign On?
You can apply for benefits as soon as you are made redundant. There is not a time frame that you are required to wait before doing so.
It is generally recommended that you sign on as soon as you can because it can often take a few weeks for a benefits claim to be processed.
The UK Government website provides benefits calculators which you can use to work out:
- the benefits you are eligible for
- how much your benefit payments could be
- how your benefits will be affected if you start work or increase your hours
- how your benefits will be affected if your circumstances change – for example, if you have a child or move in with your partner
You should always use these checkers as they may alert you to eligibilities (or hurdles) which you weren’t previously aware of. For example,if you think the size of your savings or your partner’s income may rule you out, you should still check to be sure.
Can I claim Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is another way that you can be financially supported by the government with your living costs. You are usually eligible if you are:
- out of work
- unable to work (maybe because of a health or physical condition)
- older than 18 but younger than pension age
- have less than £16,000 in money, savings or investments – including any redundancy payments
You should check the government website if you are looking for more details about whether you are eligible.
In most cases, it takes a few weeks after claiming Universal Credit for you to receive your first payment, so you should apply as soon as possible.
Can I apply for Job Seeker’s Allowance?
You may be able to apply for a New Style Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) if you are currently unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week on average. If your current savings/investments takes you over the £16,000 maximum threshold required for Universal Credit, Job Seeker’s Allowance could be a good alternative option.
According to the UK Government’s website, you should be eligible for JSA if:
- you have been working within the last 2 to 3 years as an employee
- you have paid (or been credited with) Class 1 National Insurance contributions
- you work less than 16 hours per week
If you have an illness or disability which stops you from working, you typically cannot get a Job Seeker’s Allowance.
What other support is available when I am made redundant?
If you have been made redundant and are looking for alternative forms of support, then there are things available to help you.
You can contact the Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service, which will provide you with support to:
- write CVs
- find jobs
- find information on benefits
- find the right training
- learn new skills
- organise work trials (if you’re eligible)
- get any extra help at work if you’re disabled
You can get in touch with the service even if you have not been made redundant yet, but suspect that you are going to be in the near future.
As an alternative means of support, you could contact a debt charity who will give you free advice on budgeting and what your options are. This could be a useful support system if you are unable to pay off your debts.
If you have received a large redundancy payment, you may wish to seek independent advice on how to use it in the best possible way. In the meantime, it is recommended that you apply for benefits or universal credit as quickly as possible.
Can I apply for Universal Credit even if I own a home?
Yes, you can apply for Universal Credit even if you own a property. Doing this could make it easier to keep paying off your mortgage during the period when you are not working.
In some instances, people look into remortgaging their property, or using equity release (if they are over the age of 55) to access additional cash from a house they own, while they are not working.
Depending on the circumstances, remortgaging could help you to get a better interest rate, and therefore a lower monthly payment.
You should speak to a property expert who can guide you on the different options available, and whether remortaging or equity release are viable routes.
Could a cash house buyer help me?
Another option which some people consider when they have been made redundant, and are struggling to meet their bills, is to sell the house they are currently living with (if they own it). If you are in short-term need of a cash influx then WeBuyAnyHome can purchase your property within 7 days, meaning that you get very quick access to this money.
Since we only buy using our own cash funds, we are never part of an unpredictable chain of housing transactions, which means you can rely on the completion date we agree on.
If your house has been repossessed or you are trying to stop house repossession, then we can provide guidance in these areas, too. Click on the links for our overviews on these areas – and please contact us if you want a no-obligation cash offer on your property.