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Why is this important? The information we provide differs between countries. To get information for your country, please select from the dropdown.

I have just lost my job. What benefits can I get?

This information applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

The benefits you can get will depend on your individual circumstances.

If you are looking for work, you may be entitled to contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance. If you have children, you may be entitled to Child Tax Credit. If you are sick or disabled, you may be able to get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). If you are a lone parent or a carer, you may be entitled to Income Support.

In England, Wales and Scotland, you may receive help with rent and council tax by applying for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction. In Northern Ireland, you can apply for Housing Benefit and rate relief.

If you own your own home or are buying your own home and you receive Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related ESA or Pension Credit, you may be entitled to help with your housing costs, although this may not be available immediately.

Some benefits are contribution-based. This means that the amount and type of benefit you receive depends on how many, and what type of, national insurance contributions you paid when you were working. Other benefits are means-tested. This means that an assessment will be made of what income, savings or capital you have.

For more information about benefits when you are looking for work, see Benefits for people looking for work.
For more information about Income Support, see Help for people on a low income – Income Support.
For more information about Pension Credit, see Benefits for older people.
For more information about benefits if you are sick or disabled, see Benefits for people who are sick or disabled.
For more information about Council Tax Reduction in England, see Help with your Council Tax - Council Tax Reduction.
For more information about Council Tax Reduction in Wales, see Help with your Council Tax - Council Tax Reduction.
For more information about Council Tax Reduction in Scotland, see Help with your Council Tax - Council Tax Reduction
For more information about help with your rates in Northern Ireland, see Help with your rates.
For more information about Housing Benefit in England, Wales and Scotland, see Help with your rent – Housing Benefit or in Northern Ireland, Help with your rent – Housing Benefit.
For more information about Child Tax Credit, see Benefits for families and children.

Other Frequently asked questions about benefits: