What to do if you are unemployed in the UK

In today’s job market no one can expect a job for life so most workers will find themselves out of work at one time or another. Hopefully you’ll be able to find work during your notice period if you’re made redundant, but if not we’ll tell you what to do if you are unemployed and want to claim benefits.
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Claiming benefits

Unless you’ve got savings, you’ll need money to get by so if there’s no temporary or permanent work on the horizon, you should claim benefits. The point of the government’s benefits scheme is to help people like you, not those who don’t want to work so make sure you claim. The benefits are there to help out when bills need paying but there’s no money coming in. You’ll also need to claim benefits in order to keep contributing to National Insurance. As NI is paid on your behalf while you’re on benefits, you won’t end up in trouble when the time finally comes for you to draw your State Pension.

Jobseekers Allowance

As the name suggests, this is a benefit paid out to those who are seeking new work. It involves weekly or fortnightly meetings with an advisor at the Job Centre during which you’ll be asked about your efforts to find work. You’ll need to complete a jobseeker’s diary and you’ll have to tell your advisor about any interviews you’ve had and job applications you’ve made since the previous meeting.

Final word

Signing on for benefits gives you more time to find a job, but the most important thing to do when you find yourself without employment is to get your CV out there. If you’ve been made redundant, you should have some additional redundancy money that will tide you over but don’t make the mistake of taking a break from work unless you really can afford to. You only need one job, but you’ll have to apply for many so make the most of the free time your lack of employment’s given you.

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