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How to Get Unemployment Benefits in the United Kingdom

Verified by 1 expert: Eleanor Hughes

If you lose your job in the United Kingdom, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Here are some of the most important things to know about getting unemployment benefits in the UK:

Who can get unemployment benefits?

You can get unemployment benefits if:

  • You are unemployed or work less than 16 hours per week
  • You are actively seeking work
  • You are available to start work immediately
  • You are not in full-time education
  • You are not self-employed

How to apply for unemployment benefits

To apply for unemployment benefits in the UK, you need to visit your local Jobcentre Plus office or apply online on the website. You will need to provide the following information:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your bank account details
  • Information about your last employer
  • Details of any income you have coming in
  • Your housing costs

How much money do I get?

The amount of money you get depends on your personal circumstances, such as your age, income, and savings. The standard rate for unemployment benefits in the UK is £74.70 per week for people aged 25 and over, and £59.20 per week for people aged 18 to 24. You may be eligible for more money if you have children or a disability. You can use the benefits calculator on the website to find out how much money you may be entitled to.

How long do unemployment benefits last?

Unemployment benefits in the UK can last up to 6 months. After 6 months, you may be eligible for other types of benefits, such as Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit.

Other types of benefits

In addition to unemployment benefits, there are other types of benefits available in the UK, such as:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance: This is a benefit for people who are actively seeking work. You can get up to £74.70 per week if you are aged 25 and over, and £59.20 per week if you are aged 18 to 24.
  • Universal Credit: This is a benefit for people who are on a low income or out of work. It replaces several other benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit.
  • Employment and Support Allowance: This is a benefit for people who are unable to work due to illness or disability.


  1. website on how to claim unemployment benefits
  2. Citizens Advice website on unemployment benefits
  3. Money Advice Service website on unemployment benefits
  4. The Guardian article on unemployment benefits in the UK

Expert Verified

Eleanor Hughes is an advisor for NextGen, specializing in UK bureaucracy. Her expertise focuses on regulatory frameworks and compliance strategies, aiding businesses in navigating the complexities of the United Kingdom’s bureaucratic system.
Eleanor Hughes, UK Bureaucracy Insights Director, TNGB United Kingdom