Working out what kind of benefits you are entitled to and how much you can claim can be quite complicated as there are a lot of rules and regulations you must follow.

Many of our learners come to us because they have been out of work for a while and are in receipt of a work-related benefit.

We’ve put together a quick guide to highlight some of the facts about the benefits that would make you eligible for our free courses.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with your living costs. You may be eligible if you’re over 18 and are on a low income or are out of work. The amount you can claim will depend on your monthly income and can vary from month to month.

One main thing about Universal Credit is that it has changed from benefits being paid every two weeks to every month. When you claim, you will also be paid your rent allowance and it is your responsibility to pay that to your housing company / landlord. Previously with JSA this was all done separate so the claimant did not see the extra rent money.

The benefit was designed to make claiming much simpler and so that no-one would be better off claiming benefits than they are working. Under the old system, many people faced the issue of losing a large portion for their claim as soon as they started working. However, Universal Credit allows the claim to be gradually reduced as earnings go up, easing people back in to work without the worry of losing income.

Jobseekers Allowance

Another type of benefit designed to help people who are out of work is Jobseeker’s Allowance. This benefit is for people who are actively seeking work and your claim will be stopped if you do not keep to your agreement to look for work.

Once receiving this benefit, you’ll be assigned a work coach who will help you to plan to find a job who you’ll meet with every 2 weeks to discuss how you’ve been getting on with your job search. Read our Online Job Search Tips and Tricks here.

Before putting in a claim, think about the kind of work you’d want to go into. This is the kind of thing you’ll discuss with your work coach, so it’s a good idea to have a wide range of options so you’ll have more chance of gaining employment.

You can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance if you’re looking for work or training so why not come and complete a few courses with us and improve your qualifications?

Employment Support Allowance

Employment Support Allowance (or ESA) is a benefit for those who are unable to work because of illness or disability.

If you decide to claim this benefit, you’ll be placed into one of two groups. The work related activity group or the support group.

The Support Group is for those who are unable to work or even attend interview intended to help them towards moving into work.

The Activity Group is for people who are unable to work at the moment but could move into work if given enough support. You’ll attend regular interviews and be supported as you gain the confidence to get back to work.

Income Support

If you qualify for this benefit, you can get a basic payment to top up your income or help with your housing costs depending on your circumstances including your age, relationship status, savings and more.

To be eligible for income support, you must:

  • Live in England, Wales or Scotland
  • Be between 16 and the pension qualifying age
  • Be pregnant, a carer and/or a lone parent with a child under 5
  • Work less than 16 hours a week and your partner less than 24 hours
  • Have a low/no income, and you/your partner have less than £16,000 in savings.

You cannot claim this benefit if you receive any of the other benefits mentioned previously.

If you are over the age of 19, have lived in the UK or EU for more than three years, and claim any of these benefits, you’ll be eligible for our free vocational skills programmes.

What do we offer?

Think Employment offer free courses to help those who have been out of work for a while get back into employment.

We run a range of qualifications from Business Admin to Warehousing so you’ll find the training that’s right for you and your career goals.

If you’re interested in improving your qualifications to help with your job search, give us a call on 0800 433 7042 or email lewis.atkin@thinkemployment.com.