What can I claim if I am out of work?

If you are out of work and below the age at which you can claim Pension Credit (see below), you may be able to claim Universal Credit (UC). For any new claims, UC has now replaced income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit or Housing Benefit, unless very limited circumstances apply (such as being in receipt of Severe Disability Premium). If you have worked recently you may still be able to claim new style Jobseeker’s Allowance (if you are able to look for work), or new style Employment and Support Allowance (if you cannot work because you are sick or disabled), either on its own or with UC.

If you are in receipt of Tax Credits already, you may also be able to claim Child Tax Credit for children who live with you. You might also be able to claim Council Tax Reduction to help with the council tax.

If you are a carer for a disabled person, you may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance. You can claim this when you are over Pension Credit age, but you cannot claim Carer’s Allowance at the same time as retirement pension. If you are under Pension Credit age and you need to claim Income Support on top of Carer’s Allowance, you will be told to claim Universal Credit instead.

The age when you can claim Pension Credit is the age a woman can receive her state pension (even if you are not a woman). This depends on your date of birth. You can find out when you (or a woman of your age) would reach state pension age by looking on the  State Pension age calculator on the GOV.UK website.

If you are not sure which of these to claim, have a look at the benefits information on the GOV.UK website, or the benefits checker on the following websites: Entitledto or Turn2us.

This advice applies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you live in another part of the UK, the law may differ. Please call our helpline for more details.

If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.

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