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Made redundant? What can you claim?

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Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK have lost their jobs over the last few months as companies face financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows the UK’s unemployment rate was last estimated at 4.5 percent, 0.6 percent higher than the same time last year, and 0.4 percent higher than the previous quarter in 2020.

What can you claim if you’ve been made redundant?

The Bank of England estimates unemployment levels could rise to 7.5 percent before Christmas.

That figure equates to around 2.5 million people in the UK who have lost their jobs.

The Government has decided to extend its furlough scheme, which pays 80 percent of a worker’s wages up to £2,500, until March 2021.

The Government’s decision undoubtedly came after stark warnings of a big spike in job losses once the scheme was due to wind down at the end of October.

In terms of what you can claim, there are a number of Government calculators to help you work out what benefits you’re entitled to.

These estimates will be based on your income, savings, your partner’s income and any existing claims for benefits and pensions.

You can access the tools you need through this link.

Broadly speaking, however, the main benefits that are a fit for people who’ve been made redundant are Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

Universal Credit replaced a whole host of different benefits and rolled them into one.

Typically, claimants need to be 18 or over, under State Pension age, out of work and have less than £16,000 savings between you and your partner.

Universal Credit is paid monthly and directly into your bank account, and you can apply for the benefit online.

The biggest downfall of Universal Credit is the waiting time after submitting your claim.

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Claimants can face a five-week wait for their first payment to come through.

Some people may be able to use savings or redundancy pay to tide them over, but if this isn’t the case, you can request an advance.

JSA is designed for those who are between 18 and State Pension age and not in full-time education.

The amount you will get depends on your Class 1 National Insurance contributions over the past two to three years.

Claimants will receive the new-style JSA for up to 182 days, or around six months.

The sum equates to £74.53 a week for those aged 25 or older and are single.

If you’ve been made redundant and have been working at the company for two years or longer, then you’re entitled to receive Statutory Redundancy Pay.

The amount is one week’s pay for each full year you worked for your current employer between the ages of 22 and 41.

It’s cut to half a week’s pay for those years you worked when you were under 22 and increases to a week-and-a-half’s pay for the years you worked over 41.

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