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Getting off benefits and back to work

Getting off benefits and back to work

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You can barely switch on the TV or read a newspaper of late without being confronted with some form of debate on the subject of Benefits system in the UK. Getting off benefits for many people is not as easy as it sounds, and the diversity of individual circumstances make this a hideously complicated and sensitive issue.

Part of the problem is funding the transition from being Benefits Reliant, to Work Solvent. If you are stuck in a rut and are looking at getting off benefits and back to work take a read through the following list:

Housing Costs

Those who have been receiving income related Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, or Income Support for at least twenty-six continuous weeks prior to starting work may be eligible to continue receiving Housing Benefit for the first four weeks of their employment. If your new wage is low, and your housing costs are below certain threshold, then you may even receive

Housing Benefit beyond this initial period.

Homeowners receiving assistance with mortgage repayments may also be eligible for continued help under certain circumstances. Ask your Benefits Office for details.

Claim your Tax Credits

It is not only those with children who are able to claim Tax Credits. The name itself is misleading, as they are not a credit against tax that you pay, Tax Credits are regular payments issued directly to an individual. Those on low incomes may qualify for Tax Credits, and families may be able to claim additional Tax Credits to help with childcare costs.

Gain a Job Grant

Getting off benefits and back to workThis tax-free lump sum is offered to people starting work of at least sixteen hours per week, and who have been receiving certain benefits continuously for the preceding six-month period. The new job must be expected to last for at least five weeks. Eligible benefits include:

• Income Support

• Jobseeker’s Allowance

• Incapacity Benefit

• Employment and Support Allowance

This grant is normally paid automatically if you are eligible and inform the Benefits Office that you are starting work.

Return to Work Credit

Aimed at those who have, or had, some kind of disability or health condition, the Return to Work Credit is a £40 tax-free payment per week, and may be payable for up to a year. Conditions are similar to those for the Job Grant, with some additional criteria that must also be met, such as not earning more than £15000 per year. If you think this Credit could be applicable to your circumstances, then check with your Benefits Office.

Have a go with the Employment on Trial scheme

This gives people chance to try out a job for a short period of time without losing Jobseeker’s Allowance, provided they give the job their best shot. The conditions for this include:

• Minimum of 16 hour per week for the job

• Minimum of 4 weeks tried at work, and you must have left before 12 weeks have passed

• You must not have worked in the 13 weeks prior to the day you start your new job, or been a student during this time

Travel to Interview scheme

When money is tight, getting to interview can be an expense too far. This scheme can, in some cases, help individuals cover their travel expenses when attending interviews.




About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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