head head head

Will I lose out on benefits if I leave my job voluntarily?

When you leave your job, you may need to claim benefits until you find work again. Your eligibility for benefits will depend on your means and on the details of how your job ended.

A new Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) sanction regime was introduced in October 2012. If you are claiming JSA, you may be sanctioned if you:

  • left your job voluntarily, lost your job due to misconduct or failed to apply for or accept a job;
  • fail to show that you are available for work and actively seeking work;
  • fail to attend a compulsory training or employment scheme;
  • fail to carry out a direction from a Jobcentre Plus (JCP) personal adviser.

Your trade union can give advice if you are making a claim for benefits and think you might face sanctions. If you live in a town or city with an Unemployed Workers' Centre, it is also worth checking out their services. There is a directory (PDF) of these centres available on the TUC website.

The Money and Tax, and Benefits section of the GOV.UK website has some useful information for people who haven't claimed benefits before.