Taxfile-Jobseeker’s Allowance

Unemployment figures are now showing that just over 2 million people in the UK are out of work, this unfortunately means that when you are out of work you are not earning. Fortunately there is an allowance where if you are unemployed and available for work, you could qualify for something called Jobseeker’s Allowance depending on your circumstances.
To qualify for JSA, you must meet the following requirements:
•Be available for work
•Be able to work
•Be actively looking for work
Also you have to be under the state pension age, live in UK and not be working or working for an average of less than 16 hours per week.
There are two types of Jobseeker’s Allowance: Contribution-based and Income-based.
Income-based JSA (IB) is given to you if you are on low income, even if you have not made any National Insurance contributions in the past.
Contribution-based JSA (C) is dependent on your NIC record and is paid for a maximum period of six months. However if you did not earn enough to pay NICs, you many still be entitled to get JSA(C) if you were given NIC credits. This would have happened, if you were earning more than the lower earnings limit (£90 a week in 08/09 and £95 a week for 09/10), if you were unemployed or unable to work because of illness, and in some other circumstances.
If you are unemployed and either 16 or 17, usually you do not receive JSA unless you are forced to live away from your parents and will suffer severely if you don’t receive JSA or if you or your partner are responsible for a child.

If you are on JSA(C), you will receive £47.95 if you are aged 16-24and £60.50 aged 25 and over per week. For JSA (IB), you will receive a maximum weekly rate depending on your circumstances:
•Single people aged 16-24 – £47.95
•Single people aged 25 and over – £60.50
•Couples and civil partnerships (both aged 18 or over) – £94.95
•Lone parents (aged under 18) – £47.95
•Lone parents (aged 18 and over) – £60.50
Your payments might be reduced if you receive income from part-time employment or you will get less if you have savings over £6,000 and if you have savings over £16,000 you probably will not qualify.
In certain cases, a claimant’s Jobseeker’s allowance may be stopped.
One reason would be that you did not actively seek work or sign the Jobseekers Agreement. If this happens, your benefit will be automatically suspended until the date you complete and sign the agreement. Once this has been signed, you are still not guaranteed back all of your benefit, as a decision maker will decide how much you get back, if any.
Other reasons why your Jobseekers allowance could be stopped is if you miss a restart interview, if you voluntarily leave work or refuse a notified vacancy or if you refuse to attend a compulsory scheme or fail to comply with Direction. Doing any of the above could result in you missing a month’s benefit or having to renew your claim, which could take months.

If you wish to make a claim for Jobseekers Allowance, follow this link and it will take you to Job Centre Plus where you can type in your postcode to find your local Job Centre.
Taxfile’s tax agents hope you found this useful, and if you have any more queries regarding Jobseeker’s Allowance why not pop into our offices in South East London and Exeter. Our accountants and tax advisers would be happy to assist.

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for people under 65, including children, who have normally care needs or encounter problems getting about.
Disability living allowance (DLA) is paid at different rates depending on how your disability affects you.
There are two types of disability living allowance:one is the care component and the other is the mobility component. You may be able to get one claim or even be entitled to both.
For the care component there are three types of rates. Lower, middle, and higher. To be eligible for the lower rate, you must need help or supervision for most of the day or be unable to cook a main meal for yourself. For this lower rate you would be entitled to £17.75 per week. If you were receiving the middle rate you would get £44.85 per week, this would be because you would need personal care continually through the day or night. To be entitled to the higher rate you would need help throughout the whole day and during the night as well, the higher rate pays £67.00 per week. Even if you live alone and no-one is actually giving you the care you need, you still can get the care component for Disability Living Allowance.
There are only two types of rates for the mobility component, lower and higher. To get this part of the disability living allowance, you must have difficulty in getting out and about. For the lower rate, you would get £17.75 per week if you need guidance or supervision out of doors or in unfamiliar places. For higher rate of this component, you would be entitled to £46.75. This would be because you are unable or virtually unable to walk, or if you have no legs or feet, also if you get very short of breath after only walking a short distance.
To claim DLA you must have needed help for at least 3 months and be likely to need it for another 6 months. However there are special rules that apply to people that have a terminal illness, this allowing them to get the allowance more quickly and easily. This must be claimed before you reach 65.
If you were to start getting the DLA there is chance it could increase your other benefits such as Council Tax Benefits, Working Tax Credits, Pension Credits, Income support, Housing Benefit and Child Tax Credit. This is because Disability Living Allowance is normally ignored as income for working out these income-related benefits and credits.
To claim for DLA, you can call the benefit line enquiry on 0800 88 22 00,download a form from the governments website or contact your local Jobcentre office or local social security office.
We hope you found this useful, and if you do have any more questions regarding anything to do with Disability Living Allowance, please feel free to pop into our office in South London, Tulse Hill, talk to our accountants and tax advisors in our Exeter office, or send us an email.