Coronavirus: Universal Credit and other benefits

Job Finding Support

If you’ve been unemployed and claiming benefits for up to 13 weeks, you may be able to benefit from the Job Finding Support programme.

Job Finding Support

Job Finding Support (JFS) is part of the government’s Plan for Jobs initiative. Job Finding Support offers tailored one-to-one support to help you back into work. It’s aimed at people who have been unemployed for up to 13 weeks, and it will help you develop the skills and confidence to find and secure new employment. Your Work Coach will be able to advise whether JFS is right for you and if you are eligible.

If you take part you will be offered at least 4 hours of one-to-one online support focused on what will help you find work, and at least one online group session. You will receive advice and practical support to help with your job search. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • help to identify your transferable skills
  • advice about growth industries and jobs
  • job matching to suitable vacancies and advice/links to suitable employers
  • a mock interview with feedback and guidance

Am I eligible and how do I apply?

JFS is available to people who have been receiving Universal Credit, New Style JSA or New Style ESA for less than 13 weeks, are of working age and have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom.

If you feel JFS would be valuable for you, talk to your Work Coach about the possibility of applying. They will be able to advise if you are eligible and whether JFS is right for you. If you meet the eligibility criteria and your Work Coach believes that you are suitable and would benefit from the JFS programme, they will refer you. Once referred, you should be contacted by the service provider within a few days.

Oher support that is available

Help with your job search

Visit the JobHelp website for expert advice on applying for jobs and tips on how to take your skills to a brand new type of job.

Your Work Coach

If you receive Universal Credit and are available for work, you will be provided with a Work Coach. Your Work Coach’s job is to support you with your job search.  This can include:

  • help with writing or updating your CV
  • identifying your transferable skills and finding suitable jobs for you
  • helping you access training if you need to brush up on your skills

The best way to contact your work coach is through your online account

Financial support in part-time or low paid work

If you receive Universal Credit, you may be able to continue receiving financial support if you are in lower paid or part-time work.

Universal Credit can help you get back into work by topping up your wages if you take part-time or lower paid work. Universal Credit adapts to your earnings so your Universal Credit payment will reduce by 55p for every £1 you earn. This means you will receive an extra 45p from Universal Credit on top of every £1 you earn, up to a limit which will depend on your circumstances.

This means you may continue to receive financial support when you start working. If you start earning enough you won’t receive any money through Universal Credit, but if your earnings go back down, Universal Credit will be there to top up your wages again if you are still eligible.

If you have a health condition or disability that affects your ability to work, or are responsible for children, you may receive a Work Allowance. This allows you to earn more money before your Universal Credit starts reducing.