Unemployed

Job Centre

If you are unemployed then this page will give you more information on how the new benefit changes may affect you. This page also includes a section on how help with housing costs is changing and what to do if something goes wrong with your claim

Latest News

Universal Credit full service roll out plans  Currently people living in Birmingham and Coventry are expected to claim Universal Credit if they met the Gateway conditions. This means that a relatively small number of people are claiming Universal Credit. However this is set to change from November 2017 onwards.   The next stage of introducing Universal Credit is called full service […]Find out more...
Benefit Cap changesThe benefit cap is increasing in Coventry and Birmingham. There will be additional advice sessions in Covnetry to assist those affectedFind out more...
Genuine Prospects of work testGood news for unemployed EU nationals following a recent case. Many EU nationals have had an extra test called the genuine prospects of work test applied to them if they are unemployed. This test is applied after either 3 or 6 months depending on circumstances and means that they may be refused benefit unless they […]Find out more...

Job Seekers Allowance

This section gives advice on some of the benefit changes affecting people who are unemployed and claim Job Seekers Allowance namely JSA sanctions, EU nationals and genuine prospect of work issues and Help with Mortgage Interest. If you need help with any aspect of claims for these benefits see the article Where to get advice

EU Nationals and Genuine Prospect of Work IssuesInformation explaining the way the right to reside test applies to unemployed EU nationalsFind out more...
Help with Mortgage InterestAn explanation of changes to the way the rules governing mortgage interest payments included in benefits payments are changing from April 2016 onwardsFind out more...
Jobseekers Allowance SanctionsInformation about how sanctions are applied if you get Job Seekers Allowance and what you can do if your Job Seekers Allowance is sanctionedFind out more...
Where to get adviceInformation about where to get face to face advice on benefits and financial issuesFind out more...

Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is a new means-tested benefit which replaces the key 6 means-tested benefits paid to adults who are under pension age. An overview of those who can claim Universal Credit now is to be found in Are You eligible for Universal Credit? Key aspects of Universal Credit are explained in the articles Universal Credit claims process, Universal Credit and vulnerability, Universal Credit waiting periods, Your responsibilities if you get Universal Credit and Universal Credit alternative payment arrangements. People who are owner occupiers can find out about help with their mortgage from the article Help with Mortgage Interest. If you have an overpayment of Universal Credit your rights are more restricted than for other benefits and this is explained in Overpayments of UC, Contributory ESA and Contributory JSA. After 2018 claimants of the means-tested benefits which UC replaces will be transferred over and will be eligible for UC Transitional Protection if the rate of UC is less than their old benefits. . If you need help with any aspect of claims for these benefits see the article Where to get advice

 

Are You Eligible for Universal Credit?Information to identify who can claim Universal CreditFind out more...
Bedroom TaxInformation about the Bedroom Tax which explains how it works, who it applies to and what you can do if you are affectedFind out more...
Help with Mortgage InterestAn explanation of changes to the way the rules governing mortgage interest payments included in benefits payments are changing from April 2016 onwardsFind out more...
Overpayments of Universal Credit, Contributory Employment Support Allowance and Contributory Job Seekers AllowanceAn explanation of the rules which will apply to Universal Credit, Contributory Job Seeker's Allowance and Contributory Employment and Support Allowance and how overpayments will be recoveredFind out more...
Universal Credit and Alternative Payment ArrangementsInformation about how Universal Credit is paid and what options you have if this is causing you or your family difficulties or if you get into rent arrears because of thisFind out more...
Universal Credit and VulnerabilityDetails of who can be treated as vulnerable when claiming Universal Credit, why this is iimportant and how to let them know that you are vulnerableFind out more...
Universal Credit Claims ProcessInformation about how to claim Universal Credit and details of the documents you will needFind out more...
Universal Credit Transitional ProtectionInformation about how your income can be protected if you are transferred on to Universal Credit from another benefitFind out more...
Universal Credit Waiting PeriodsInformation about when you can expect to be paid following your Unviersal Credit claim and what to do if you cannot manage until thenFind out more...
Where to get adviceInformation about where to get face to face advice on benefits and financial issuesFind out more...
Your Responsibilities If You Get Universal CreditInformation about what you are expected to do if you claim Universal Credit. Payment can be affected if you do not meet these conditionsFind out more...

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit (HB) is a benefit paid by the local authority to meet the cost of rent either in full or in part. People who get Universal Credit (UC) will have their housing costs paid as part of that benefit. There are a number of reasons why the level of HB and UC paid is less than the level of rent and these are explained in the article HB and UC housing costs restrictions. These reasons include the Bedroom Tax, the Benefit Cap and Housing Costs Contributions and Non-Dependents. These three articles suggest ways of tackling these problems but failing this claimants may want to consider asking for a Discretionary Housing Payment. EU nationals who are unemployed will have extra tests applied before HB is paid and these are explained in EU Nationals and Genuine Prospect of Work Issues.  If you need help with any aspect of claims for these benefits see the article Where to get advice

Bedroom TaxInformation about the Bedroom Tax which explains how it works, who it applies to and what you can do if you are affectedFind out more...
Discretionary Housing PaymentInformation about Discretionary Housing Payment and how to claim thisFind out more...
EU Nationals and Genuine Prospect of Work IssuesInformation explaining the way the right to reside test applies to unemployed EU nationalsFind out more...
Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Housing Cost RestrictionsInformaiton about Local Housing Allowance and rent restrictions for people who are under 35Find out more...
Housing Costs Contributions and Non-dependentsInformation to explain how much other people living in your house are expected to pay you towards the rent or mortgage and how this will change under Universal Credit Find out more...
Where to get adviceInformation about where to get face to face advice on benefits and financial issuesFind out more...

Something Wrong With Your Claim?

This section of the website gives advice on some of the most common crisis situations arising for unemployed people due to welfare reform. Sanctions are a major issue and more advice about this is contained in the following articles Have you had your Benefit sanctioned, Job Seekers Allowance Sanctions and Universal Credit Sanctions. Advice on other crisis situations is contained in these 2 articles Overpayments of UC, Contributory ESA and Contributory JSA and EU nationals and Genuine Prospect of Work Issues. A broader range of problems which can leave you without income and suggested solutions is covered in the article What to do if you have no income? If you wish to dispute a decision that has been made against you, you will need to go through the Mandatory Reconsideration process. If you need help with any situation when something has gone wrong see the article Where to get advice

EU Nationals and Genuine Prospect of Work IssuesInformation explaining the way the right to reside test applies to unemployed EU nationalsFind out more...
Have you had your benefit sanctioned?Information about sanctions and how they are applied across the range of benefits and what you can do if you have been sanctioendFind out more...
Jobseekers Allowance SanctionsInformation about how sanctions are applied if you get Job Seekers Allowance and what you can do if your Job Seekers Allowance is sanctionedFind out more...
Mandatory ReconsiderationAn explanation of Mandatory Reconsideration the first stage of disputing a decision that has gone against you and how to make it work to increase your chances of successFind out more...
Overpayments of Universal Credit, Contributory Employment Support Allowance and Contributory Job Seekers AllowanceAn explanation of the rules which will apply to Universal Credit, Contributory Job Seeker's Allowance and Contributory Employment and Support Allowance and how overpayments will be recoveredFind out more...
Universal Credit SanctionsInformation about how sanctions are applied if you get Universal Credit and what you can do if your Universal Credit is sanctionedFind out more...
What To Do If You Have No Income?Information about the main reasons you may have no income and suggestions of what you can do depending on your cirucmstancesFind out more...
Where to get adviceInformation about where to get face to face advice on benefits and financial issuesFind out more...