Unemployment benefits: what you could get in 2022

9 August 2022 by Robin - 12 minutes of reading time

unemployment benefits in 2022

You may be out of work, and want to get unemployment benefits. From Universal Credit to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), there are a number of unemployment benefit you could get in 2022 to increase how much you receive while unemployed, and help to aid you in finding work. This Your Benefits article will walk you through everything you need to know about unemployment benefits in 2022.

What is Income Support unemployment benefit?

Income Support is a type of unemployment benefit that is being replaced by Universal Credit in 2022. As such, you are no longer able to apply for this benefit. You may be on a low income and struggle to pay for living costs. If this is the case, you can apply to Universal Credit

You may already be earning Income Support. If this is the case, a number of conditions need to be true for both you and your partner. More specifically, all of the following:

  • You currently reside in England, Wales or Scotland (the rules are not the same for those living in Northern Ireland);
  • Your age is still between 16 years old and the qualifying age for Pension Credit;
  • You do not work full time (you still qualify if working below 16 hours weekly, and your partner works below 24 hours weekly);
  • Your income is either low or inexistent, and you cannot have more than £16,000 in savings.

On top of these conditions, a few other things need to be true. More specifically, one of the following circumstances must apply to you. This is not an exhaustive list, as there are more qualifying conditions. You:

  • Are due for a court or tribunal hearing, or in custody;
  • Are a carer;
  • Took either paternity, maternity or parental leave;
  • Cannot both work and either receive Severe Disablement Allowance, Statutory Sick Pay or Incapacity Benefit.

You in no way need a permanent address to continue to claim this benefit. In fact, you may live in a care home, hostel, or even be sleeping rough. If this is the case, you can still receive Income Support, if you were previously eligible.

What is Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)?

‘New style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is an unemployment benefit that you can earn in 2022 while looking for work. The previous versions of the benefit were called contribution-based and income-based JSA (Jobseeker’s Allowance). However, you cannot apply for these anymore. Instead, there is a new version of the scheme.

If you are already receiving the old versions of the Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit, your payments will continue. This will be the case until the end of your claim. Otherwise, you could claim the ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance

How can you apply for ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)? You may do so in three steps. They are as follows:

  1. See if you qualify to receive the benefit;
  2. Apply for ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance. Then, your local Jobcenter Plus office will conduct a phone interview with you;
  3. Continue to look for work.

It is extremely important that you do not stop looking for work when receiving this benefit. In fact, during your phone interview, you will agree to maintain your ‘Claimant Commitment. This ensures that, while you receive the benefit, you continue your job search.

If you stop looking for work and cannot justify why that is, you will likely no longer receive Jobseeker’s Allowance payments.

Can I get the ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance unemployment benefit?

What is Income Support unemployment benefit?

Some things need to be true in order for you to receive ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance. Indeed, both of the following need to apply:

  • You were previously an employee;
  • You made Class 1 National Insurance contributions (typically, you will have to have done so in the past 2 or 3 years. National Insurance credits enable you to qualify for this condition).

You may have been self-employed. As such, you would only have made Class 2 National Insurance contributions. In this case, you do not qualify for this benefit. The only exception is if you were working either as a volunteer development worker or as a share fisherman

One of the following must also apply to you. More specifically, you must:

  • Reside in England, Wales or Scotland;
  • Not be impacted by a disability or illness which makes you unable to work;
  • Either not be working, or work less than an average of 16 hours weekly;
  • Be able to work;
  • Not be a full-time student;
  • Be under State Pension age;
  • Be 18 years or older (you could be 16 or 17 years old and still qualify).

How can I apply for the ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance?

You can apply for this unemployment benefit on the Gov.UK website. You will need some information that will be necessary for your application. In fact, it is a good idea to prepare the following before you claim:

  • A private pension statement letter;
  • Your National Insurance number;
  • The details of your building society or bank account (you can use the details of one belonging to a friend or family member);
  • Your employment details of the previous 6 months (this must also include dates that you worked for your employer, and their contact details).

Your claim can be backdated. Indeed, this can be done for up to 3 months. Note that you must have a good reason for not claiming the unemployment benefit sooner, like the death of a family member or partner, or not having received correct information about Jobseeker’s Allowance.

To backdate your ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance claim, you must provide both the reason for which you did not claim sooner, and the exact date for which you wish to start getting payments.

When claiming JSA, you will be appointed to a Work Coach. They will help you in finding work. You will have appointments with them every 1 or 2 weeks. There, you will be able to show them what you have been doing to find work. This can include proof that you have been doing interviews or job applications.

What is Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)?

Your ability to work may be impacted by a health condition or disability. Then, you could apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). If coronavirus impacted your ability to work (because of self-isolation), you may also be eligible. With Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), you will get the following:

  • Payments to cover living costs (this is if you cannot work);
  • Help to aid you in getting back to work (this is if you can work).

Can I get ‘new style’ ESA unemployment benefit?

To apply for this benefit, you must both be younger than State Pension age and have either a health condition or disability that impacts your ability to work. Additionally, both of the following must apply to your situation:

  • You were previously either self-employed or an employee;
  • You made National Insurance contributions (typically, you will have to have done so in the past 2 or 3 years. National Insurance credits enable you to qualify for this condition).
You may not receive this benefit if you already get Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Statutory Sick Pay. However, you can receive Universal Credit on top of or instead of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). You can apply online on the Gov.UK website.

What is a Work Coach for unemployment benefits?

A work coach is a type of unemployment benefit that is not financial. In fact, they are individuals that can help you both in finding work and finding (financial) support while looking for work

Work Coaches are employed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The DWP is recruiting more Work Coaches as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. The need for Work Coaches, as people are affected by the virus, continues to increase. As such, the role of Work Coaches is needed now more than ever.

Work Coaches have a wide range of responsibilities. For example, they can help customers claim Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit. They are attentive to the needs and conditions of the individuals that they help, to give them help tailored to their needs.

Your Benefits can also help you in finding what benefits you are entitled to. Use our free simulator to see the amount of aid you could be earning today. Additionally, our experts are available to help you reduce all of your bills, including electricity, water, phone… Simply contact them if you want to learn more. 

What is Universal Credit unemployment benefit?

Universal Credit is a type of unemployment benefit in 2022. More specifically, it is meant to help cover living costs. The way that it is paid is monthly. However, this is different for people living in Scotland, who are paid this benefit bi-monthly.

You may be eligible for this benefit. This is likely the case if you cannot work, are out of work, or are on a low income. However, you can still earn this benefit if you work and certain things apply. Additionally, you can manage your Universal Credit account online, on the Gov.UK website.

Your Universal Credit is limited by certain things. For example, there is a limit to how much you can earn to continue receive Universal Credit. Furthermore, in most cases, you have to look for work to receive Universal Credit.

Am I eligible for Universal Credit unemployment benefit?

You may be low on income, out of work, cannot work or require help paying for living costs. Universal Credit is a type of unemployment benefit. However, you can still be working and earn it. A few things must be true in order for you to receive payments. More specifically, all of the following must apply to you:

  • You currently reside in the United Kingdom;
  • Are under State Pension age;
  • Are 18 years or older (there are exceptions for those who are 16 and 17);
  • You have £16,000 or fewer than that in investments, savings and money.

You may be in full-time education. If this is the case, you could apply for Universal Credit. However, one of the following needs to apply to your circumstance:

  • You are at or above State Pension age, but your partner is younger than State Pension age;
  • You bear the responsibility of a child (this is both whether or not you are doing this by yourself or as a couple);
  • The partner that you live with is qualified to earn Universal Credit.

How much Universal Credit could I receive?

You may be unemployed, and want to receive an unemployment benefit. As such, it is important to know how much you could get with Universal Credit. In fact, this benefit consists of two different parts. First is the standard allowance. Second are any additional payments you may be eligible for. Indeed, you could get more money if you:

  • Require some help to cover your rent;
  • Suffer from a health condition or disability which makes you unable to work; 
  • Take care of children.

Your situation is looked at on a monthly basis. As such, if you experience changes in your circumstance, it will likely affect what you are eligible to receive. You can get the following with standard allowance:

Universal Credit standard allowance rates in 2022
Your personal circumstance Standard allowance rate (per month)
You have a partner, and at least one of you is 25 years or older £509.91 (for the couple)
You have a partner, and you are both younger than 25 years old £403.93 (for the couple)
You are younger than 25 years old and single £257.33
You are 25 years or older and single £324.84

Additionally, that is not all. In fact, you could earn extra payments. For example, this is the case if you have children. You can earn more for 1 or 2 children. However, earning this unemployment benefit in 2022 for more than this amount has certain conditions.

You could either receive £282.5 or £237.08 for you first child, depending on when they were born. For your second child, or any children that qualify, you could receive £237.08 per child. Then, a disabled child could earn you £128.89, and a severely disabled child likely entitles you to £402.41.

What if I need help with childcare?

What is Universal Credit unemployment benefit?

If you require help with childcare, you could earn extra Universal Credit. More specifically, you could be able to earn payments to cover up to 85% of your childcare costs. Note that you must at the very least already be eligible for Universal Credit.

You may live with a partner. If this is the case, both of you need to have the following be true for your situation:

  • you are working (this is regardless of the actual number of hours worked);
  • you currently have a job offer.
Universal Credit is an unemployment benefit in 2022. However, to get help covering childcare, you (and your partner) must be working or able to work quickly.

To get help with childcare, you would get money “back” every month. The maximum amount you could earn back is £646 for a single child, and £1108 for 2 children or more.

You may have to stop working. Then, you must report it on your Universal Credit account online. You can find it on the Gov.UK website. 

How do I apply for Universal Credit?

The way that you can claim Universal Credit is online, on the Gov.UK website. Moreover, your application will need to be done within 28 days of the creation of your online account. Otherwise, you will still be able to apply, but will have to start over.

If you are unable to complete your claim online, you may do so by phone. Furthermore, you may live with a partner. Then, both of you have to create an online account. Both of you need to apply together. When making your claim, your accounts will be linked.

Additionally, you may already be receiving the following benefits:

  • Working Tax Credit;
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA);
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA);
  • Income Support;
  • Housing Benefit;
  • Child Tax Credit.

If you receive one of these and apply for Universal Credit, you will no longer get them. This is also the case if your partner does the application. Additionally, you will not be able to apply again to try to receive them again. Once you get Universal Credit, you cannot get the benefits it replaces.

You will need a number of documents and information in order to do your application online. First, you will need the details for your credit union, building society or bank account. Then, your email address, and some access to a phone.
If you do not have any of these, you may go in person to a Jobcentre, or call the Universal Credit helpline. You also need to have documents to verify your identity. This can include the following:

  • P60 or payslip;
  • Credit or debit card;
  • Passport;
  • Driving licence.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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