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Can I Claim Job Seekers Allowance After Being Dismissed?

Getting dismissed from your job can be a shocking and frustrating experience. You no longer have a source income, which leaves you confused on how to meet your needs. Job Seekers Allowance is given to people earning low income as well as the unemployed, who are actively in search of employment. Being dismissed qualifies you as unemployed; perhaps even searching for another job. You can therefore make a claim for job seekers allowance. The other qualifications you need to meet are being above the age of eighteen, living in Scotland, Wales or England, availability and ability to work and not being a full-time student. Jobseeker allowance is given depending on the reason for your dismissal.

JSA After Unfair Dismissal

If you lose your job for reasons you consider unfair, it is important that you make a claim for compensation, through the employment tribunal. If you receive the allowance along with compensation, you may be needed to pay the JSA back.

Unfair dismissal is determined by a number of things. You can be declared unfairly dismissed in case of the following:

• Not having being given the rights stipulated in your employment contract.

• Not being given a notice of dismissal within the time stated in the contract. The contract may state the amount you should get as compensation if this happens.

• Being paid less than the stated amount in case of dismissal without notice.

• Being given a notice that is shorter than that which is in the contract.

JSA After Dismissal for Misconduct

If your employer dismisses you for something wrong you did, it may lead to a delay in your job seekers allowance. You may have to wait for at least 13 weeks before you begin to receive JSA. In this case, you can make a claim for hardship payment. Alternatively, you can make an appeal to undo the sanction (13 weeks delay).

How to Claim JSA

Before you make a JSA claim, it is important to find out if you are eligible. The qualifications required include:

• Be of age 18 or above

• Be under the age of State Pension

• Be in Scotland, Wales or England (Citizens Advice gives the specific rules for each country)

• You should be actively looking for a job

• If you are working, it should be below 16 hours a week


If you are eligible, you can make your claim online, or Job Centre Plus.  After you apply, you should expect a call or text message in two days, to let you know when you should take your interview. You need to have a number of identification documents during the interview, such as your passport, driver’s licence, permanent residence card, biometric permit of residence, birth or marriage certificate, utility bills or bank statements; and if available, your P45.In case you have a special condition or disability, it is advisable that you have support during the interview. You will be required to sign a contract stating what you will do in your search for employment. 

Other Rights you are Entitled to After Dismissal

It is important to keep in mind that in case you are dismissed from your place of work, your employer has to have a valid justifiable reason, and they must prove that they were reasonable. It is wrong for your employer to dismiss you for something wrong that another employee was allowed to do. In addition, you should not be dismissed if there has not been sufficient investigation conducted to prove that you did something wrong.

When taking a new job, you should read carefully the terms written in your contract. The contract should state the time within which you should receive a notice of dismissal from work. In case you are given a notice within a shorter period, make sure you report this to the employment tribunal. 

Your employer should hand you a written statement of dismissal. The statement should also indicate the reason for your dismissal. It should not take more than 14 days after you request for it.


Dismissal from employment is likely to change your life significantly. For this reason, it is important that you have an allowance during the period of unemployment. In the UK, you can receive a jobseekers allowance as long as you are in search of a job. You need to find out how one receives the allowance in case you lose your job. It is also essential to have some knowledge on what to do if you lose your job unfairly. However, if you do something to warrant your dismissal, you should be aware that there are consequences; your allowance will be delayed.

Being an employee thus requires you to be sure to do the right thing. You should also know your rights to avoid being treated wrongfully by your employer. ACAS helps you understand what you are entitled to as an employee.


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