If you’re struggling for work and income as a student or graduate, Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance could help tide you over. Here’s how to check if you’re eligible and apply.
Nobody leaves university hoping to have difficulty finding a job as a alumnu, but sometimes these things are out of your control.
And, of course, it’s not exactly plain-sailing while you’re a student either- the perfect rain of an lacking Maintenance Loan and struggling to work around your studies means your time at university could be one long battle to get by.
Fortunately, you may be able to claim benefits to help fund your living rates. While Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance have been criticised for not providing enough financial support, the money they do add could prove invaluable for you. Read on to find out if you’re eligible, plus how to apply and how much you could get.
What’s in this guide?
What is Universal Credit ? Universal Credit eligibility criteria Can students and graduates do Universal Credit ? How much Universal Credit can you get ? Applying for Universal Credit What is Jobseeker’s Allowance( JSA )? New style JSA eligibility criteria Can students and graduates do JSA ? How much JSA can you get ? Applying for JSA
If you’re still at uni and you’ve knew yourself in a cash crisis, here’s what to do when you run out of money.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a relatively recent arrangement, combining several different benefits that previously operated independently. These ‘legacy benefits’ were 😛 TAGEND
Child Tax Credit Housing Benefit Income-based Employment and Support Allowance Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance Income Support Working Tax Credit.
Note that there are three types of Jobseeker’s Allowance, just one of which( income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance) now comes under the umbrella of Universal Credit. We’ll explain the others later.
What are benefits?
People often use the terms ‘benefits’ and ‘Universal Credit’ interchangeably and, while this is sometimes accurate, they do refer to different things.
Benefits describe any type of payment from the government that’s designed to help people on a low income, or those with specific needs or circumstances( like having children, being a carer or having a disability ).
Universal Credit is just one type of benefit. Although it now includes some of the most well-known benefits, like Income Support, there are other payments that it doesn’t include, like Housing Benefit.
Who qualified for Universal Credit?
We wish we are also able give you a simple answer to this, we really do. But, regrettably, there are so many preconditions and exclusions over who can claim what, that it’s borderline impossible to quickly summarise who’s be entitled to claim Universal Credit.
That said, there are a few basic criteria that, if you meet them, could allow you to claim Universal Credit 😛 TAGEND
You live in the UK You’re aged 18 or over( although there are some exceptions for 16 and 17 -year-olds) You or your spouse are under the State Pension age You’re on a low income or out of work You and your partner’s mixed savings come to PS1 6,000 or less.
Beyond this, there was still dozens of different reasons why you may or may not be eligible for Universal Credit. Some more of the main ones are listed on this government page, although you may be best really hop-skip the middle-of-the-road man and using a benefits calculator.
Frustratingly, the government advises that if you’re a student, benefits calculators won’t give you an accurate result- so read on for more details on how you could be eligible as a student.
Regardless of your student status, you’ll too need to sign a Claimant Commitment to start receiving Universal Credit.
A Claimant Commitment is essentially an agreement between you and your local Jobcentre, delineating measures that you need to take to show that you’re inclined and able to work.
It specifically tailored to your place( taking into account influences such as having a disability or being responsible for children ), and could require you to complete tasks like creating a CV or applying for jobs. You can find out more about Claimant Commitments here.
Can students get Universal Credit?
In the majority of cases, full-time students can’t pretension Universal Credit. Nonetheless, there are some individual circumstances which mean you may be eligible, including 😛 TAGEND
You’re aged 21 or under, studying for a direction which leads to a qualification at the level of A Levels or below, AND you don’t have parental subsistence. You’re responsible for a child. You lives with your spouse and they’re eligible to receive Universal Credit. You’re receiving Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Armed Force Independence Payment, AND you have a disability limiting your capability to work.
For more details on how to claim Universal Credit as a full-time student, check out this page.
If you’re a part-time student, your chances of getting Universal Credit are a little better, although there are no guarantees.
You need to be able to prove that you’re still able to satisfy any work-related requirements that related to you receiving Universal Credit( this will likely form part of your Claimant Commitment)- in other words, that your part-time course actually is part-time, and not so intense that it will impact on your ability to work.
Regardless of whether you’re a full- or part-time student, it’s worth bearing in mind that your Maintenance Loan will be considered as a figure of revenues, and will reduce the amount of Universal Credit you receive.
Tuition Fee Loans, as well as Special Support Loans and Grants, won’t alter the amount of Universal Credit you’re entitled to.
If you’re a student and you have a disability, it’s worth checking to see if you’re eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances( DSA ).
Can graduates get Universal Credit?
As a postgraduate, you should be eligible for Universal Credit as long as you encounter service standards requirements that apply to all applicants.
Don’t worry if your graduation liturgy is a few months after you finish university- for the purposes of benefits, you’re no longer considered to be a student after the last day of expression in the final school year of your direction( check with your uni if you’re unsure when this is ).
How much Universal Credit will you get?
How much you’ll get depends on your personal circumstances, and the standard amount can be topped up if “youve had” children, have a disability, or are having problems rent.
The standard Universal Credit allowances are as follows 😛 TAGEND
Your personal circumstancesMonthly standard rebate
Single and aged under 25 PS342. 72
Single and aged 25 or overPS4 09.89
In a couple where you’re both aged under 25 PS488. 59*
In a duo where at least one of you is aged 25 or overPS5 94.04*
* This coin is intended to be shared between you and your marriage – you will not receive this amount each.
As we mentioned a few moments ago, the quantities of Universal Credit you receive can increase depending on other personal factors.
This typically includes helping for children, having a disability or needing help with housing rates, and could increase your monthly fees by several hundred pounds. More information on the specifics of the extra adjustments is available here.
How is Universal Credit paid?
Universal Credit remittances often go straight into your bank account every month. Your first instalment will usually take around five weeks to arrive, although if you’re struggling with living expenditures in the meantime, you can apply for an advance while you wait for the initial payment.
After your first payment, you’ll receive your pays on the same day each month( although in Scotland you can be paid twice a month if you’d promote ), and you’ll too get a monthly statement detailing how much you’ll receive.
For claimants that are working part-time, how often your employer fees you are able alter how you receive your remittances. This is because your wages can affect the assessment periods, although, unless you’ve been notified to say otherwise, this shouldn’t affect the amount you receive. See here for more info.
How to apply for Universal Credit
You should be able to complete your Universal Credit employment online, but make sure you’re braced – you’ll need a fair amount of personal information to hand, including 😛 TAGEND
Your bank account items Housing datum, such as how much fee you offer Income items, such as payslips If you have any savings or speculations, including shares and property How much you pay for childcare( if you’re applying for help with this ).
To verify your identity online, you’ll also need to submit a imitation of a document proving you are who you say you are, such as your passport, “drivers licence” or debit card.
If you’re unable to apply online, peculiarly if you have a disability that procreates the process difficult, you can call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644. It’s also recommended that you dial this numeral if you have any questions or problems with your application.
And, if you disagree with a decision spawned concerning your application for Universal Credit, you can make an appeal.
Should you claim Universal Credit?
There’s a bit of a stigma surrounding claiming benefits, but you shouldn’t think twice about applying- if you’re out of work, we’d strongly admonish you to claim.
The extra money could really help you with rates such as attending job interviews or buying suitable invests, and when you claim Universal Credit you could come some enormous advice from your Jobcentre Plus advisor.
So, although it’s best to contemplate Universal Credit as a short-term arrangement while you try to get work, claiming this benefit could actually prove to be the difference between finding work and abiding unemployed!
Our schedule of ways to make free coin should help tide you over, too.
What is Jobseeker’s Allowance?
Confusingly, there are three different types of Jobseeker’s Allowance( JSA ):
Contribution-based JSA Income-based JSA New wording JSA.
As we explained earlier, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance has now been merged into Universal Credit.
What’s more, together with contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, you can only apply for income-based JSA if you receive the severe disability premium, or have received it within the last month and are still eligible for benefits it.
Crucially , no matter which type of JSA you claim, the amount you receive is likely to be the same.
However, as the majority of applicants will only be eligible for new form JSA, that’s what we’ll focus on in this guide. If you think you may be eligible to receive income- or contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, more information is available on the government’s website.
Who is eligible for brand-new vogue Jobseeker’s Allowance?
The eligibility criteria for brand-new form Jobseeker’s Allowance is a lot more straightforward than it is for Universal Credit. You should be eligible to claim brand-new vogue Jobseeker’s Allowance if you 😛 TAGEND
Are aged over 18, but under the State Pension age( although there are some exceptions for those working aged 16 or 17) Live in England, Scotland or Wales and have the right to work in the UK Are unemployed or acting less than 16 hours per week( on average) Aren’t in full-time education Are available to work full-time, and are taking measures to find a job Don’t have a disability or illness which stops you from toiling( other benefits, including the other types of JSA, are available if “youve had” such an illness or disability) Have directed and paid Class 1 National Insurance in the last two to three years.
The last degree on this list is part of what recognise new style Jobseeker’s Allowance from the other types of JSA, and if you haven’t paid Class 1 National Insurance in the last two to three years, you probably won’t be able to claim new mode JSA.
But how do you know if you’ve paid Class 1 National Insurance? Good question.
Any employee earning more than PS1 83 a week will automatically pay Class 1 National Insurance, although this threshold often alterations when we enter a brand-new tariff time( which races from April- April ). Use this table of weekly doorsteps to see what the figure was when you were working( you’ll want to look at the sequence labelled ‘Primary Threshold’ ).
Our student tax guide explains how much you should be paying while you’re at uni- if any. And remember: JSA is a taxable benefit.
Can students claim brand-new mode Jobseeker’s Allowance?
As the list of criteria above intimates, the vast majority of full-time students won’t be eligible for brand-new form Jobseeker’s Allowance. There are a few limited exceptions to this, though, including even if you 😛 TAGEND
A lone mother In a pair, where both of you are full-time students, you have a child together, and you’re claiming JSA during your summertime anniversaries Taking time out from study, especially if it’s due to ill health or needing to care for someone else.
Note that you’ll still need to meet the other, standard criteria for brand-new vogue Jobseeker’s Allowance( listed above ), even if you’re among the limited number of full-time students who could be eligible.
Part-time students should have a little more luck in applying for brand-new form JSA, nonetheless it’s important to remember that you will need to be willing and able to work full-time.
This means that, if you’re offered a full-time job that clashes with your part-time degree, you may have to choose between accepting the job and continuing with your studies. If you decide to stick with uni, the fact that you turned down work may mean you become ineligible to claim JSA.
Can graduates claim brand-new vogue Jobseeker’s Allowance?
As with Universal Credit, graduates should be eligible to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance as long as they are complying with all of the standard criteria that apply to all prospective claimants. And again, in this instance you’re no longer considered a student after the final day of the last academic year of your course.
The main stumbling block is likely to be how much Class 1 National Insurance you’ve paid in the last two to three years.
If you’re a recent graduate and you worked during uni, you are able to hopefully be eligible to claim JSA- but if you didn’t have a job while you were studying, you’ll probably reject the application for JSA and you’ll need to apply for Universal Credit instead.
How much Jobseeker’s Allowance will you get?
The accurate sum of Jobseeker’s Allowance that you’ll receive will differ depending on your personal circumstances, such as whether or not you’re working part-time.
The maximum amount of new form JSA you can claim is 😛 TAGEND
PS58. 90 per week if you’re aged 18-24 PS74.35 per week if you’re aged 25 or over.
You can claim brand-new wording JSA for up to 182 dates( nearly six months)- after this level, you’ll need to speak to your work coach( assigned to you when you start claiming JSA) about your options going forward.
How is Jobseeker’s Allowance paid?
How to apply for brand-new style Jobseeker’s Allowance
You can apply for new vogue Jobseeker’s Allowance online( contact Jobcentre Plus if you’re unable to do this) and, as is the case with Universal Credit applications, you’ll need some information to mitt when you do.
When you’re applying for JSA, you’ll need your 😛 TAGEND
National Insurance quantity Bank details Employment details for the past six months( including times and contact details for your boss ).
If you think you’ve been entitled to JSA for a while now, you can backdate your argue by up to three months when you apply. To do this, you’ll need to submit the date from which you’d like your claim to start, as well the reason your assertion has been delayed.
The official advice states that your assert may be rejected unless you have a “good reason” for not applying sooner, with lessons including the death of an immediate own family members( i.e. a sibling, parent or child) or incorrectly being advised that you couldn’t do JSA.
Finally, if you disagree with a decision that’s shaped involving your application for new vogue Jobseeker’s Allowance, you can make an appeal.
Should you claim Jobseeker’s Allowance?
As a type of benefit, there is still some stigma around claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. However, we’d encourage you to ignore this as much as possible and apply for JSA if you gratify the eligibility criteria and need the cash.
We justified earlier how Universal Credit could prove to be the difference between finding work and standing unemployed, and while we’re not talking about immense parts of coin now, every little improves when you’re struggling to make ends meet.
It is worth noting, nonetheless, that if you’re eligible for both Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit, the amount of JSA you claim will reduce your Universal Credit payments.
For every PS1 of brand-new wording Jobseeker’s Allowance you receive, your Universal Credit pay will reduce by PS1- so while you won’t be any worse off for claiming both at the same time, you likely won’t be any better off either.
If you’re still studying, make sure you’ve claimed all of the bursaries, concedes and fellowships available to you.
Read more: savethestudent.org