What benefits am I entitled to other than Jobseeker’s Allowance?
There are currently more than fifty different types of benefits, and the benefits system in the UK is now so convoluted that it is impossible to say what benefits you would be entitled to without a detailed examination of your personal circumstances.
If you will have no income other than benefits; if you have few savings; if you are disabled in any way; if you have a non-working or disabled partner or dependent children; if you have a mortgage to pay – the circumstances go on and on, but these are the main ones – then you may be entitled to different or additional benefits, or concessions on payments such as council tax.
Ultimately, you will need to sit down with a benefits advisor at a Job Centre Plus office to work out your true entitlement, but the benefits system is now so full of variables and exceptions that no ordinary human will get it right all of the time. It always pays to do your homework before you see an advisor.
There are a number of ways to research your entitlements, but three good ways are to:
- See the Citizens Advice Bureau
- Call the Department for Work and Pensions Benefits Enquiry Line: 0845 6088524
(9am until 5pm)
- Try out an online benefits calculator
The Citizens Advice Bureau has trained advisors who know the benefits system as well, if not better, than the advisors working in Job Centres. They also have systems which mirror those the Job Centres use to calculate benefit entitlements, so you can get a very accurate idea of what you’re entitled to before attending your Job Centre interview. Unlike the Job Centre, the CAB will take the time to advise you on the best way to complete applications, and how to handle rejections and appeals.
The CAB has recently teamed up with the NHS, so it’s not unusual to find a local CAB outreach service operating from your doctor’s surgery.