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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. Specifically, when you claim Job Seekers' Allowance, you might face a sanction (reduced JSA, no JSA, or no National Insurance cover) if:

  • You left your job voluntarily without just cause, or
  • You lost your job because of misconduct.

For more information on how this decision is made, you can download a copy of our leaflet "Jobseeker's Allowance rules for people leaving work voluntarily or through misconduct" (PDF).

Your trade union can give advice if you are making a claim for benefits and think you might face sanctions. Also 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 very useful information for people who haven't claimed benefits before.