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
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
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
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
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