Q. I have just been made redundant from work and have received a good redundancy package. Will this affect the benefits I can claim? I was employed for 14 years before being made redundant.
A. You will be entitled to claim Contributions Based Jobseekers Allowance if you are looking for work; this benefit is not means tested and your redundancy pay won’t be taken into account.
After 6 months the Jobseekers Allowance claim becomes means tested and any savings or other income you have is factored into the calculations.
Statutory Redundancy Pay is treated as savings, but any contractual redundancy pay is ignored for Jobseekers Allowance purposes.
Holiday pay and pay in lieu of notice are also usually ignored.
In Universal Credit full service areas such as Hartlepool, you would need to make an application for Universal Credit as well as Jobseekers Allowance when you are made redundant if you want to claim any help with your rent.
Q. I was found fit for work at my Employment and Support Allowance medical and was awarded 0 points. I appealed to the Tribunal Service and they awarded 9 points which still isn’t enough to be paid Employment and Support Allowance. Can I appeal further?
A. If you feel that you were not given the chance to attend the appeal or didn’t receive all of the paperwork or another procedural irregularity, then you can ask for the decision to be set aside.
You must write to the First Tier Tribunal within one month from the date on the decision letter.
The next step after an unsuccessful tribunal hearing is to request a statement of reasons; again this should be done in writing within one month from the date on the tribunal decision.The statement of reasons should explain how the tribunal came to their decision and what evidence they have considered.
If you can show that there has been an error of law then you can appeal to the Upper Tier Tribunal. Errors of law can include mistakes about your circumstances or about the law, but you can’t appeal further just because you are
unhappy with the decision or if you think another Judge would have made a different decision.
Generally, if an error of law can be identified then the First Tier Tribunal would hear the appeal again to allow a fresh decision to be made.