With the global economy and the job market currently in crisis, a large number of people have been furloughed, and even laid off completely. As a result, the unemployment figures are increasing and with that the number of people hoping to sign up for unemployment benefits to help cope with the financial pressures of this difficult time. With social distancing and confinement measures being enforced, it is difficult to leave your home. In this article we will show you how to register as unemployed and sign up for unemployment benefits online.
- Difference Between Furlough and a Layoff
- How to Apply For Unemployment Benefits UK
- Jobseekers Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Specific Coronavirus Funds UK
- How to Apply For Unemployment Benefits US
- Specific Coronavirus Funds US
Difference Between Furlough and a Layoff
Firstly it is important to establish the subtle distinction between being furloughed and being laid off.
- A furlough is a temporary layoff from work. After having been furloughed, people usually return to their jobs.
- Where layoffs are when an employer permanently terminates an employee.
How to Apply For Unemployment Benefits UK
In the UK there are two main financial aids for those that are unemployed: Jobseekers Allowance, and the more recent Universal Credit. The difference between the two, taken from The Citizens Advice Bureau:
Universal Credit has replaced income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) for most people. You can only make a new claim for income-based JSA if you're getting, or recently stopped getting, a benefit with a severe disability premium (SDP). You might be getting an SDP with: income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.
What is Jobseekers Allowance?
You can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) to help you when you look for work.
There are 3 different types of Jobseeker’s Allowance (which type you will receive depends on your circumstances):
- ‘New style’ JSA
- Contribution-based JSA
- Income-based JSA
Depending on your individual circumstances, each type of JSA pays the same personal allowance per week. If you are eligible, you could get up to:
- £58.90 if you’re 18 to 24
- £74.35 if you’re 25 or over
- £116.80 if you claim income-related JSA as a couple
Who is Eligible?
You can determine if you are eligible for Jobseekers Allowance here.
How to Apply?
You can determine whether or not you qualify, and apply for the New Style JSA by clicking here.
If you are unable to apply online, you can apply by phone:
- Telephone: 0800 055 6688
- Textphone: 0800 023 4888
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit a monthly payment to help with your living costs. You may be eligible if you are currently unemployed or in a low income job.
Who is Eligible?
According to the UK Government you may be eligible for Universal Credit if you:
- Are out of work
- Have a low income
- Are over 18, and under the State Pension Age
- Have less than £16,000 or less (with a partner)
- Live in the UK
Here is a breakdown of the amount you could expect to receive per month if you are eligible.
You can use a benefits calculator to see what you could receive.
How to Apply?
The application process is much the same as for Job Seekers Allowance (as Universal Credit is replacing it).
From the GOV.UK website, this is the information that you will need to have access to before starting your application:
- Your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one)
- An email address
- A valid proof of identity
- Information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
- Details of your income, for example payslips
- Details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
- Details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs
To apply online you can use this form on the GOV.UK website.
Specific Coronavirus Funds UK
In the UK the Government has announced financial support for businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic. There is also proposed financial aid for self employed people, however this aid will not come into effect before June (3 months after the beginning of the quarantine).
How to Apply For Unemployment Benefits US
- Firstly, select your State on this map.
- Then follow the steps indicated to file a claim in your relevant State.
Specific Coronavirus Funds US
The US Government has announced stimulus cheques to help stimulate the receding economy. To be eligible for the full amount of $1,200, your most recently filed tax return must show you have earned under $75,000 per person, per foyer.
For more information on the possible second $1200 stimulus package, you can read this article which explains in detail the Heals Act and its financial implications.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
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