Applying for Benefits

Applying for Benefits

If you do not have a job by the end of term you will be able to register as being unemployed and looking for work. 

The general rule is that as a Full-Time student, you are not entitled to receive Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support Employment Support Allowance or Housing Benefit unless you are in an eligible group (e.g. single parents, students with disabilities etc.)

If you do fall within an eligible group, you may already be in receipt of certain benefits when you leave University.  If you are then you must inform the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP), in writing, of your change of circumstances.  Your weekly income will no longer include your Student Support, therefore a reassessment of your benefit will need to be made.

As a new claimant, you can make an enquiry at your local Job Centre;

Wolverhampton 

Job Centre Plus, Chapel Court, Queen Street, Wolverhampton. WV1 3AF. 

Tel: 01902 435300 

and

Molineux House, Temple Street, Wolverhampton, WV2 4AU. Tel: 01902 482000

Contact centre for appointments and forms: 0800 055 6688. Anyone with post codes WV9 or WV10 wishing to make a benefits claim should attend Chapel Court for their appointment.

 

Telford

Telford Job Centre, Telford House, Southwater Way, Town Centre, Telford.  TF3 4PD  Tel: 01952 652800

Contact centre for appointments and forms: 0800 055 6688.

 

Walsall

Post codes WS1, WS2, WS3

Job Centre Plus, Bridle Court, 1-5 Hatherton Road, Walsall, WS1 1XR Tel: 01922 853700

Post codes WS3, WS4, WS5, WS9, WS10    

Job Centre Plus, Bayard House, 134-138 Lichfield Street, Walsall. WS1 1SP Tel: 01922 853600

 

Council Tax & Council Tax Benefit

Council Tax is the tax set by local authorities to help pay for services.  From the day after you cease being a student, you become ‘visible’ for Council Tax purposes, and (if you were previously living in a dwelling occupied solely by full-time students) your dwelling ceases to be exempt from Council Tax.

If you are liable for Council Tax and your income is low, you may be entitled to Council Tax Benefit.  If you are on JSA/Income Support/Employment Support Allowance, you may get up to 91.5% Council Tax support (in Wolverhampton) for your share of the bill.

The above are general rules; your own circumstances will need to be assessed in order to clarify your particular position.  If you have any queries about your Council Tax liability, contact the Advice and Support Centre or your local Council Tax office.

N.B. Council Tax liability starts as soon as your course ends NOT when you graduate!

 

Housing Benefit/ Local Housing Allowance

If you receive JSA/Employment Support Allowance or I.S. you may be able to get Housing Benefit.  If your rent is very expensive they may cap the amount they will pay.   If you are in paid employment but on a low wage, you may also get some housing benefit, though it is unlikely that you will get all your rent paid for you.  An assessment is made based on your earnings and those of your partner and any adult dependants.

If you are making a fresh claim and you do not live in Housing Association or Council property then your Housing Benefit will be assessed under the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules.  Housing Benefit assessed under LHA rules is calculated in a different way and the maximum you might receive is dependant on the size of your household.  You will receive an amount the same as every other household of the same size in your area.  

N.B.  If you have savings of over £16,000 then you will not be entitled to Housing Benefit and if you have savings of £6,000 or more then it will affect the amount of benefit you receive.

If you own your home then you are not eligible for Housing Benefit.  You may be able to get some housing costs met however, through your I.S. or J.S.A. Payments are intended to cover any interest paid on your mortgage but it is calculated on an amount set by the DWP, based on the Bank of England interest rate, rather than the actual interest rate you are paying.  Mortgage interest payments do not usually start until you have been receiving JSA or I.S for 39 weeks.