Benefits and help when going back to work

When you return to work after being on benefit, some of your benefits will carry on for a short while. Find out more, including the benefits and support you may be able to get once you're working.

Universal Credit

You may still be able to claim Universal Credit if you and/or your partner are employed. The amount you can get depends on your circumstances, including your income and how many children you have.

A benefits calculator can help you check if you can get Universal Credit or other benefits.

Help with housing costs

If you were getting help with your housing costs while you were out of work, you may carry on getting this. This is if you have been getting income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support for at least 26 weeks continuously before starting work. You may then continue to get the following benefits for up to four weeks:

If you're on a low wage and your housing costs are below a certain level, you may continue to get Housing Benefit after this time.

If you are a homeowner and have to reclaim benefit you may not have to wait until you get help again with your mortgage costs. Contact your Social Security / Jobs & Benefits Office to find out more.

Tax credits

A tax credit is a payment that you receive regularly. Despite the name, it isn't a credit against your tax bill.

If you've got children you could get tax credits, but you don't need to have children to claim. You may also qualify if you are working and on a low income.

If you work and pay childcare you may be able to get extra tax credits to help with the costs.

Travel to Interview Scheme

If you’re unemployed or under written notice of redundancy, the Travel to Interview Scheme may help you with the cost of travelling to job interviews.

Shortened claim process for Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance

If your Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance claim ended less than 26 weeks ago and there has been no change to your circumstances your claim to benefits may be simpler and shorter.

To make a claim for Jobseekers Allowance or Income Support contact your local Social Security/ Jobs & Benefits office.

The following are not considered as a change of circumstances:

  • you or someone you are claiming for is now pregnant
  • tax credits have been claimed or awarded

Employment On Trial

The Employment on Trial scheme aims to give people the confidence to start a new job, even if they are not sure it will work out.

It makes sure you will not lose your Jobseeker's Allowance if you leave the job, as long as you have given it a fair try.

The conditions for the scheme are as follows:

  • the work must have been for at least 16 hours a week
  • you must have stayed in the job for at least four weeks, and have left before the end of the 12th week
  • you must not have worked during any of the 13 weeks before the day on which the job started
  • you must not have been a full-time student or in relevant education at any time during the 13 weeks before the job started

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