When you’re out of work or finding things tough financially the JobCentre Plus can be your best friend. As well as helping you search for the right job they can also assist you with claims for benefits to help see you through until you are able to get back on your feet. There are two main benefits that JobCentre Plus are responsible for administering, these are Job Seekers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance.
Job Seekers Allowance
Job Seekers Allowance or JSA is a benefit paid to those who are currently out of work or working under 16 hours per week with low earnings and are actively searching for employment. The amount payable under this benefit varies depending on individual circumstances but the minimum amount payable is £57.35 per week.
How to claim
Claiming JSA will mean that you have to attend your local JobCentre Plus for an interview where you will work with an advisor to draw up a ‘Jobseekers Agreement’.Your future claim to the benefit will depend on you keeping to the agreements you have made during this interview, unless you are able to provide good reason as to why you haven’t been able to. You will need to ‘sign on’ every two weeks at your local JobCentre Plus, where you will need to be able to show that you have kept to your ‘Jobseekers Agreement’. In order to start a claim for JSA or for any further information you will need to contact your local JobCentre plus.
Employment and Support Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance or ESA is a benefit paid to those unable to work due to illness or disability and who are not receiving Statutory Sick Pay through an employer. During the assessment period of your claim, which can take up to 13 weeks, you will receive £72.40 per week if you are over 25, less if under. After the assessment period, if you are successful in your claim the benefit will go up to £101.15 per week.
How to claim
When you make a claim for ESA you will be invited to attend a Work Capability Assessment to determine the extent to which your illness or disability prevents you from working. From here a decision will be made as to whether, if successful in your benefit claim, you will need to attend regular interviews with an advisor or not. To start a claim for ESA, or for more information you will need to contact your local JobCentre Plus.