to claim JSA when i have been made redundant?

(65 Posts)
lifeafterredundancy Mon 11-Jun-12 15:32:57

worked at same company 10 years - being made redundant at end of july.
getting a £25K redundancy package.

DH works but we need both incomes to sustain a moderate standard of living.

I want to claim JSA while i am looking for work. (The work i do is mostly based in London and I live a £40 train fare away so assuming i get interviews the train fare alone will cost me a pretty penny)

I mentioned this to a friend who thought it was a disgrace as i have a redundancy package to see me through. It's got me wondering. On one hand I think that if i am eligible (a whole other question) then why shouldn't I claim as I have been paying into the system for 15 years and I will be an active job seeker, but I also see my friend's point that I don't need the JSA as I have my redundancy to pay for train fares/petrol etc to get to interviews.

So, I've got my hard hat on! Am I being Unreasonable to claim JSA??

Christelle2207 Mon 11-Jun-12 15:37:55

Yanbu in principle but I wouldn't be surprised if you're not entitled to it, esp iif you have savings. Not aware of the current rules. If against the rules then yabu.

Agree that its not fair if you've paid tax and NI for years, but the way the country works isn't fair.

You friend is bump judge you on the issue though.

SarahBumBarer Mon 11-Jun-12 15:37:58

You will presumably be claiming contributions based JSA - based on the fact that as you say you have been paying in to the system. YANBU at all. JSA is an allowance for job-seekers to pay for precisely the things you want to use it to pay for. Why should you have to use your redundancy for that - that is there as compensation and to tide you over on other bills/mortage rent etc. Your friend sounds like a bit of a pratt tbh

Christelle2207 Mon 11-Jun-12 15:38:16

Your friend is bu

mothmagnet Mon 11-Jun-12 15:38:17

If you have savings of over £6000, you will not be eligible for JSA.

Good luck with job hunting, I am in the same position.

Not at all unreasonable, I thought if it was contribution based JSA that savings weren't taken into account though?
Dh didn't claim when he got made redundant for no other reason than confusion about the system.

Jins Mon 11-Jun-12 15:41:25

Yes you should claim it. Your redundancy package and household income won't be considered and you'll be entitled to JSA for 6 months. I got loads of support during this time and got access to business start up advice and grants.

SarahBumBarer Mon 11-Jun-12 15:41:28

Doesn't getting JSA (even the contributions based version) also help preserve your entitlement to state pension. Therefore it would be ridiculous not to claim it - or does your friend thing you should forego some of your pension too as a result of having a redundancy pay out?

SarahBumBarer Mon 11-Jun-12 15:42:18

Toughasoldboots is right - savings have no impact on contributions based JSA - you paid in you get out. Simples.

Jins Mon 11-Jun-12 15:42:55

Yes it covers NI contributions.

You should be eligible for the first 6 months. I was (but didn't claim as I wasn't looking for work which made me inelligble IYSWIM).

FiftyShadesofViper Mon 11-Jun-12 15:45:20

If you are entitled to it I would claim it.

However when DS was at uni we put money in an ISA for him each year as our "contribution" to his fees (school advised don't pay directly as student loan not repayable if don't find good job, etc). His JSA was reduced to almost nothing as he had savings and it was way less than £25k

SarahBumBarer Mon 11-Jun-12 15:46:50

Peresumably though Fifty DS had not made any contributions so he was claiming income based JSA and not contributions based JSA. Savings are relevant to income based JSA.

Akermanis Mon 11-Jun-12 15:47:10

The link below tells you what you need to know and yes you will get JSA for 6months and NI credits as well.

Sarcalogos Mon 11-Jun-12 15:49:48

If you are eligible apply.

Also any decent organisation will pay your travel as a legitimate expense for attending interview. Don't forget to claim that as well.

wfhmumoftwo Mon 11-Jun-12 15:50:23

I think you have every right to claim it. You have worked, you have paid into the system, you want another job and will be actively looking for one. This is exactly what the welfare system was designed for. Not sure what you are entitled to but would claim if you can.
At least you will try to get another job which is more than can be said for many people but that is a whole different thread!

I would tell anyone that is eligible for a benefit to claim it, if you don't need it donate it to one of the essential charities that have had their funding cut.

I would share less information with your friend.

TroublesomeEx Mon 11-Jun-12 15:54:51

Claim contributions based JSA. It's not based on income so I don't think your redundancy will be counted. You can apply online and then they contact you to make an appointment.

If you're entitled you'll get it, if not you won't. smile

TroublesomeEx Mon 11-Jun-12 15:55:59

mothmagnet I don't think savings are counted if you're claiming contributions based JSA.

You're entitled to it based on your NI contributions, not whether or not you need it to live on.

mothmagnet Mon 11-Jun-12 16:05:40

Ah, thanks Folkgirl, sorry OP if I misinformed, that was what I was always led to believe on the letters.

The forms are quite thorough - I'm a bit sore after ds's maintenance payments have just been taken off my weekly JSA, leaving me struggling. Was hoping to go self-employed, but that will have to wait.

ErikNorseman Mon 11-Jun-12 16:07:37

Redundancy isn't considered as savings for jsa purposes afaik

Hammy02 Mon 11-Jun-12 16:07:39

You can claim. I was in a similar position to you and I could claim. It was only about £70 a week for 6 months max but I claimed it as I was entitled. £25k seems like alot but it soon goes. Especially if your salary considerably contributed to the household bills.

Sorry for a slight hijack
I am due to leave my job this week after resigning due to moving away from the area (approx 60 miles). Does anyone have any experience of claiming the contribution based benefit in these circumstances?
I'm hoping to find something else quite quickly once we're moved, but we could certainly do with the extra income during the interim.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 11-Jun-12 16:24:41

I have no idea if you can claim it or not because I didn't claim when I as made redundant, despite others telling me to. I felt like I didn't need it, so didn't claim, but I wish I had. I have a new job now, but looking back it seems silly not to take what you are entitled to. Other people do it and have paid in a lot less, so there is no good reason why you shouldn't claim.

crikeybill Mon 11-Jun-12 16:27:53

I don't think you can claim for a certain amount of time if you resigned Lula because you made your self redundant so to speak.

Thanks crikey, I read something like that, but then something else that seemed to suggest it depended on your reasons for doing so. And of course they don't blooming answer the phone to clarify...

accountantsrule Mon 11-Jun-12 16:31:44

Redundancy packages are not included when applying for JSA. My DH had about £25k redundancy and if he hadn't have found a job quickly we would have been living off it as £67 a week JSA would not have paid our mortgage and bills so needed that top up as we weren't entitled to any other benefits.

FlangelinaBallerina Mon 11-Jun-12 16:32:00

Contribution based JSA exists to provide for people in your circumstances OP. I sympathise with people who feel it's wrong to claim any benefit that you can manage without, but the problem with this one is that you probably won't be able to get it if you wait until you actually need it. Your entitlement won't last forever, as it's based on contributions from the past couple of years. So you don't have the option of using the 25k for eg the next 3 years then claiming contribution based JSA if you're still out of work then. It isn't a needs based benefit so it doesn't translate well to a needs based claim or scenario, iyswim.

samandi Mon 11-Jun-12 16:43:07

It's not unreasonable to claim it. You should be entitled to contributions based JSA.

ErikNorseman Mon 11-Jun-12 16:50:13

Lulabella you should claim now, they will look at your circs and make a decision. The delay is up to 26 weeks but does vary on a case by case basis.

Almostfifty Mon 11-Jun-12 16:50:52

Lula I received it (though it was many, many moons ago) when I moved counties to be with my husband.

OP, you've paid in, you're job seeking, it's what it's for. Claim it.

You can claim JSA cont if you have been made redundant. The only money we will be concerned about is payment in lieu of notice and/or holiday pay as until this runs out. The regs for Leaving Voluntarily do not usually apply in cases of redundancy (make sure you take in your redundancy letter/info to your new claims appointment).

Also, if you have interviews outwith daily travelling distance there is a scheme which will pay your costs (by cheapest public transport) as long as you tell the Jobcentre BEFORE the interview. Used to be called Travel to Interview scheme, is now known as Flexible Support fund.

In Scotland, we also have a scheme whereby training can be paid for during the 13 weeks after being made redundant. Useful if there is specific training you want.

You should sign on anyway to protect your NI contributions against any future claim for sickness, JSA, State Pension.


NarkedRaspberry Mon 11-Jun-12 16:59:15

Of course you claim it! You've paid in, so are entitled to contribution based JSA. Don't worry, once you're back in work it's only take a couple of weeks for you to give it all back in tax and NI grin.

girlpancake Mon 11-Jun-12 17:18:30

YANBU. You've paid taxes and if you're entitled to claim you should do so. You're not earning millions. BTW, my husband didn't claim straight away when he was "let go" due to not knowing what was going to happen with various stuff at work, the people in the benefits office were then very suspicious of why he hadn't claimed straightaway.

EdithWeston Mon 11-Jun-12 17:22:31

You need to claim it - it is the only way to cover the gap in your NI contributions (unless you have that covered from CB already).

You can only claim contributions-based in the first 6months of unemployment, and it is irrespective of other household income or savings. Yo sound like exactly the sort of claimant it was designed for.

TupperwareTwat Mon 11-Jun-12 17:28:13


Make sure you also claim on your PPI for your mortgage to get paid while you are out of work.

shelley72 Mon 11-Jun-12 17:42:25

I took vol redundancy in the new year but have not claimed as just a SAHM now so I'm not seeking work (yet). Should I be doing something to keep up my NI contributions then?

lifeafterredundancy Mon 11-Jun-12 18:25:49

This is all really helpful everybody. Thank you so much for replying. I thought i was being reasonable but then got a bit of a jolt!
we do have savings but it sounds like that is irrelevant for contributions based JSA.

Thanks katescarlett for telling me about the claiming back travel costs thing too - i had never heard of that. narkedraspberry you are right, i will pay it all back in anyway fingers crossed i get another job!!

thekidsrule Mon 11-Jun-12 18:44:04

yanbu,god uve paid in,anybody that thinks otherwise is being u

mind after the jobcentre grilling and thumb screw interview you may not bother,lol

dearprudence Mon 11-Jun-12 18:53:05

YANBU. DH was made redundant last year, and assumed he wouldn't be entitled to any benefits because of my salary and some bits of savings. It was only when someone told him about his NI contribution that he decided to look into it - and found out that he'd have been eligible for the previous 5 months, as household income and savings were not taken into account. He ended up with just one month's JSA, and fortunately got a job after that.

Good luck with the job-hunt.

mantlepiece Mon 11-Jun-12 18:55:49

Yes claim! It is only if you are still unemployed after 6 months that your savings or other household income would stop the payments.

As others have said it is not just the weekly amount that is valuable it is the fact that your stamp is paid for future state pension.

As you are actively seeking work you don't need to worry about being "grilled" as others have said. there is loads of other help that you may not have even thought of that a good employment advisor will help you to tap into.

Good luck with the job hunting!

Thanks for the advice, I'll apply tomorrow and see how I get on

This thread is timely, as I posted earlier that dh didn't claim, he brought home a letter today from his office address asking him to make up the nat ins loss.
It is over £600, so even more proof that he should have claimed.

I am quite freaked out by the timing though.

minsmum Mon 11-Jun-12 21:13:01

You can claim contribution based JSA for 26 weeks but when that runs out you may need to sign on every 2 weeks even though you will get no money so that your NI contributions are paid.
They told my DH when he was made redundant that he didn't need to sign on to get his ni paid, they lied so he had a bill as well. Good luck in your job hunt

vj32 Mon 11-Jun-12 22:04:32

You would not be unreasonable to claim, but you may not want to.

You will get about £70 per week, paid in arrears every fortnight a few days after you 'sign on'.

Where is your nearest job centre? Mine is nearly 10 miles away. So cost of 20 miles of petrol plus parking every two weeks. Plus the couple of hours it took each time including the travel. In my case the job centre is located in a really not very nice town - hardly any shops left, really unpleasant atmosphere. Most people in the jobcentre were nice and reasonable, a couple were a little interrogatory and didn't really read the computer before they spoke to me so had to justify myself again and again.

I was not offered money towards travel to an interview, even though I told them in advance I had interviews. I was warned when I first signed on not to expect any help to get a job. They used to do that but budgets have been cut so they don't offer anything now. I would assume money like that is limited and it would be given first to people on income based JSA, who by definition need the money more.

Then there are the other jobseekers there. The middle aged men who turn up in smart clothing with a folder who have clearly been made redundant and are really trying. The young teenagers who stand no chance because they have never had a job. The couples who claim together and just look totally hopeless.

The thing that strikes you about the jobcentre is how depressing it is. One of the reasons I think the staff were really nice to me was because I had to take my baby. (You can't change the day of your appointment even if you have childcare other days!)

It is difficult enough emotionally being unemployed, without having to go to the jobcentre. So if you don't need the money, then I wouldn't go. I would certainly not go to 'keep up my NI contributions'. If you are that fussed you can pay them later - I think it is a few £s a week. There may not even be a state pension when I reach retirement age (I'm 29) because by that point we won't be able to afford it. Maybe if you are older, that is a good reason, but it isn't for me.

If you want to apply though, you can apply really quickly online. You don't need to ring. (and get lost in phone system)

vj32 Mon 11-Jun-12 22:09:08

Just had a look and paying vol contributions are expensive unless you are self employed - but most people don't need to as you only need 30 qualifying years to get a full state pension.

TheFarSide Mon 11-Jun-12 22:15:15

YANBU. I was made redundant a year ago and it took me six months to find a new job. The salary is one third less and the job is only two days a week so I'm still supplementing my living with my redundancy money. There's not much out there at the moment, so you may have to prepare for a longer period of employment than you would like.

Angelico Mon 11-Jun-12 22:32:13

Of course YANBU! You've paid for it all your working life, that's what it's there for.

And Job Centre can be depressing but I did find a job there years ago which led to a better job which led to my current job in a very over-subscribed sector where I live. You make your own opportunities.

Angelico Mon 11-Jun-12 22:33:25

Your friend doesn't sound like much of a friend btw. Is she one of those people who just sees, "Ooooh, look at that lovely lump sum!" and forgets you will have no other income once it's gone? confused

vj32 Mon 11-Jun-12 22:35:39

Angelico - you don't actually look for jobs at the jobcentre now. They just tick a box on the computer to pay you. They don't help with job searching at all. Its more a 'benefits administration office' than a jobcentre.

Angelico Mon 11-Jun-12 23:23:07

vj they never 'helped' me either - I just wandered up and down those boards. Having said that I was looking 9 years ago when there were still jobs around so it was probably a totally different experience sad thanks

Angelico Mon 11-Jun-12 23:25:00

also vj do you have a link to that stuff about voluntary contributions? I spent a few years gallivanting around and am heading off on maternity leave soon so am probably down some contributions.

Krumbum Mon 11-Jun-12 23:51:13

If your entitled to it you should claim it. It's not like your wealthy, that redundancy will not last long. With JSA they will make you take any job going though, you can't be picky.

vj32 Tue 12-Jun-12 08:02:07

Its here:

Krumbum: £25k should last a long time, especially with a partner who is earning as well. We lived off £25k last year as a family. More importantly the JC don't make you take any job going. You can't be picky, but you can say what you want or are qualified for, and if its reasonable then you can limit yourself to that. Childcare is also counted as a barrier to finding work so you can limit what hours you can do because of childcare, so long as you can work at least 16 hours a week.

Have you looked at tax credits lifeafterredundancy? JSA is taxable so is counted as income for other benefits like Tax credits, so you may not actually be gaining much money by claiming it. You also can't get

Jins Tue 12-Jun-12 09:07:24

I got loads of help confused

I had a brilliant advisor

niceguy2 Tue 12-Jun-12 09:13:32

I don't understand why your friend has such a strange attitude. I'm known for being a bit on the right but JSA is there exactly for people in your situation. You have been made redundant through no fault of your own and the state can & should provide temporary support for you whilst you look for alternative work.

Maybe she's jealous for some perverse reason?

vj32 Tue 12-Jun-12 09:43:35

I never saw the same person more than once in 4 months. The person I knew best was the security guard as he had to let me in the lift each time!

Jins Tue 12-Jun-12 09:48:49

I saw the same person each time for the first 12 weeks then I got a dedicated personal advisor who went through aims and qualifications etc with me. As soon as he realised I wanted to be self employed he found appropriate courses, set me up with a mentoring scheme, pointed me in the direction of grants etc.

He even found a job for me!

Where the whole process fell down was when my paperwork left his desk and I ended up having to provide the same paperwork 4 times. That was a central admin issue though.

creighton Tue 12-Jun-12 13:01:24

you should put in a claim for jsa. i think this allows your n.i. to be paid while you look for work. if you have more than £16k in savings it will affect other benefits. fill in the forms online, they will call you back for an interview.

as i've said before, i did not find the staff useful at the jobcentre, but you need to go along to get your money.

TheFarSide Tue 12-Jun-12 15:39:24

Just to clarify, everyone can claim six months' JSA regardless of how much money they have (including redundancy money) if they have been in work and paid their NI contributions. After six months, JSA is means-tested.

FiftyShadesofViper Wed 13-Jun-12 00:14:09

FarSide Does that mean DS and his friends did not get it because they were fresh out of uni then? DS got £25 per week for 6 months, his closest friend got nothing because their "savings", which parents had put asidefor them in lieu of paying their tuition fees, were counted but the student loans, which hugely outweighed them, were not.

ErikNorseman Wed 13-Jun-12 06:27:08

Fifty- they would have got income based jsa not contribution based. Presumably your DS had some income which was offset against his jsa meaning he got a reduced amount. And his friend would have been expected to live off his savings. The dwp doesn't care what the money is intended for smile

SimplySoo Wed 13-Jun-12 07:42:59

YANBU - as long as you're eligible, you should, because it keeps up your NI contributions.

TheFarSide Wed 13-Jun-12 18:30:52

Fifty - yes, I think you need to have been paying NI contributions for two years (?) in order to qualify for contributions based JSA, which is NOT means tested and which you get for six months. Plus what Erik said.

bruffin Wed 13-Jun-12 18:58:32

Ds got made redundant in march with a 5 figure sum. He claimed jsa as he had a right to. Also to claim on mortgage protection insurance you have to show you are receiving JSA. Thankfully he has just got a job and only claimed one months mortgage protection.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now