Claiming JSA - my experience Claiming JSA - my experience
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  1. #1

    Ddraig Goch


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    Default Claiming JSA - my experience

    To start with, I've no experience of how this 80% thing works. BUT if you need to claim JSA as a limited company contractor this is what I did a few years ago. Obviously, rules MAY have changed a bit since then.

    Few things to note:-

    1. You can claim contribution-based JSA even if you're partner works if you've paid NI. For 6 months I think?
    2. You will have to sign on/go to meetings etc.
    3. There may be a limit on savings now - it used to be £16K.

    OK, so you're an employee of your company but you're still an employee. The rules are if there is "no work" then you can be put on temporary furlough and claim benefits.

    No need to close down company, but you do need to make yourself redundant. And get P45 from accountant. Whether you can still pay dividends is a grey area - I would say its best not to.
    Do it NOW before you claim. Also, use savings to pay off credit card bills rather than keep it in savings if you can.

    First thing is you've to phone and start the claim off. Then fill in the forms. Then you'll get an appointment to visit the jobcentre.

    The Jobcentre experience is not great but you have to go in to speak to someone. The forms you fill in are a nightmare. I found the people in the Jobcentre were fine - they treated me OK but I guess they're used to speaking to complete losers generally so if you're polite to them.

    I found they didn't really understand contracting. BUT the advisor you get seems to have a lot of power. I was lucky, the guy I had was fine, they can see you're not a loser and are going to get a job so they will leave you alone pretty much. I think the rules are you're allowed to follow your "normal career" for 3 months anyway. They're not going to send you to tesco to stack trolleys.

    Its an experience to be sure. Guy told me about how people turn jobs down because its 20 mins on the bus. And the lowlifes hanging around outside.... and theres a security guard on the door. Twice I saw people being abusive and dragged out by security.....

    Got to sign on every two weeks but it takes literally 5 mins. You are supposed to prove you're looking for a job mind. Never asked me but when I saw my advisor I just showed him a spreadsheet printout with applications I'd made via jobserve etc.

    Basically, thats it. One important face - THEY WILL NOT BACKDATE IT EVER.

    So no good thinking I'm ok then 3 months later thinking I wish I'd claimed it - thats 13 x £73 you've lost.

    The non-contrib JSA is more complicated. If your partner earns more than £10K a year forget it. If they dont then you probably will get more.

    As for mortgage help, I don't anyone gets that anymore.
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  2. #2

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    Just some links for further reading if you do need to go down this path.

    Further information on JSA here
    Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - GOV.UK

    You can start the process here.
    Contact Jobcentre Plus: New benefit claims - GOV.UK

    Check your eligibility here
    Find out if you may be eligible for New Style Jobseeker's Allowance - DWP - Jobseeker’s Allowance

    Some useful links about JSA and contractors here
    Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) – overview for contractors

    Note paragraphs like this one...

    Do limited company funds have a bearing on a claim for JSA?
    It’s important to remember that your limited company’s business assets will be considered ‘capital’ and added to your personal assets and capital when you are means tested for your JSA claim. Unless the combined funds and capital held both in the business and personally fall below £16,000, you will not be able to claim JSA.

    In addition, if you regularly receive dividends in large sums from your limited company, these and any cash in the business will be considered part of your savings limit of £16,000.

    Because of this, Jobcentre Plus will want to see detailed company accounts and financial records, and may wish to access your accountant when carrying out eligibility assessments. Should you be operating as a sole trader or in a partnership, business assets will not be considered as part of your savings or capital.
    If you have money in your company which is put aside for tax they may question this. One way around is to pay your tax early but then that might remove a nest egg you might have to rely on later. Spend your tax money with great caution though. It's not technically yours and will need to be paid back in the near future.
    Last edited by Contractor UK; 28th June 2020 at 20:20.
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  3. #3

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    Long long ago one got contributions based JSA as of right for 6 months if you had the necessary NI contributions.

    IIRC it was the Income Support bit that came in after 6 months that depended on your savings, though savings also alter the treatment of council tax.

    Having spent time in the local library computer room listening to the unfortunate non computer literate (How do I get that @ sign?) Universal Credit unfortunates, it all seems much more complex now than it used to be.
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  4. #4

    Ddraig Goch


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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Just some links for further reading if you do need to go down this path.

    Further information on JSA here
    Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - GOV.UK

    You can start the process here.
    Contact Jobcentre Plus: New benefit claims - GOV.UK

    Check your eligibility here
    Find out if you may be eligible for New Style Jobseeker's Allowance - DWP - Jobseeker’s Allowance

    Some useful links about JSA and contractors here
    Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) – overview for contractors

    Note paragraphs like this one...



    If you have money in your company which is put aside for tax they may question this. One way around is to pay your tax early but then that might remove a nest egg you might have to rely on later. Spend your tax money with great caution though. It's not technically yours and will need to be paid back in the near future.
    To be fair YMMV with a lot of this. As NLUK says they can consider money in the company - which if its tax isnt really yours.

    I remember when I did it I paid out all dividends (i.e. profit) beforehand and then paid off credit cards. All they asked me was whether there was money left in the company I could take out and seemed happy that what was there was for VAT/tax etc/

    I do know of someone as NLUK says who got told to use the tax money which seems a bit off to me. Paying it in advance like NLUK says might be a plan.

    They're very "how much is in your account at the moment" which seems crazy. Obviously everyones personal bank account can differ massively depending on outgoings etc. BUT they dont seem to care. They want to know how much TODAY (regardless of whether £2000 in DDs is going out tomorrow).
    Last edited by Contractor UK; 28th June 2020 at 20:21.
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  5. #5

    Ddraig Goch


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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Just some links for further reading if you do need to go down this path.

    Further information on JSA here
    Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - GOV.UK

    You can start the process here.
    Contact Jobcentre Plus: New benefit claims - GOV.UK

    Check your eligibility here
    Find out if you may be eligible for New Style Jobseeker's Allowance - DWP - Jobseeker’s Allowance

    Some useful links about JSA and contractors here
    Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) – overview for contractors

    Note paragraphs like this one...



    If you have money in your company which is put aside for tax they may question this. One way around is to pay your tax early but then that might remove a nest egg you might have to rely on later. Spend your tax money with great caution though. It's not technically yours and will need to be paid back in the near future.

    Never asked for any company stuff but it may have changed.
    Last edited by Contractor UK; 28th June 2020 at 20:21.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by psychocandy View Post
    Never asked for any company stuff but it may have changed.
    They did when I attempted to claim a couple of years back. And, because Id decided to take my Civil Service pension (couldnt defer it, they said it would be lost for the period I didnt take it), my JSA Conts claim was disallowed on the grounds I was in receipt of an occupational pension, despite being under State Pension age.

    I think Universal Credit has replaced JSA in many parts of the country now.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by psychocandy View Post
    Never asked for any company stuff but it may have changed.
    Possibly but knowing people in JC's it's highly likely they'll forget or don't understand it themselves. By knowing you need to declare and conveniently not telling them is opening you to benefit fraud, particularly if anyone has read this thread it's been pointed out twice.

    Not digging at you. Just pointing this out to anyone reading that's going to start down this path.

    EDIT. One of your posts says they asked about company money, the next says they did?
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  8. #8

    Ddraig Goch


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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Possibly but knowing people in JC's it's highly likely they'll forget or don't understand it themselves. By knowing you need to declare and conveniently not telling them is opening you to benefit fraud, particularly if anyone has read this thread it's been pointed out twice.

    Not digging at you. Just pointing this out to anyone reading that's going to start down this path.

    EDIT. One of your posts says they asked about company money, the next says they did?
    They asked about it but never requested to see any documentation etc.
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  9. #9

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    Is JSA a thing these days or is it all part of UC?

    Presumably you are not expected to look for work right now, or at least not much? I'd guess UC is basically just given out to those eligible without many checks.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by d000hg View Post
    Is JSA a thing these days or is it all part of UC?

    Presumably you are not expected to look for work right now, or at least not much? I'd guess UC is basically just given out to those eligible without many checks.
    maybe, perhaps.

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