If you become unemployed and have no other source of income then you will be entitled to a range of benefits from the state to help you deal with the hardship of having no salary of wage.

Because the range of benefits available, from a variety of sources, is vast and because legislation changes with great frequency, it is pointless to attempt to give detailed advice about what is available and what you may be entitled to.

Your best course of action is to diligently research every possible avenue when considering which benefit or benefits you may be entitled to. Your local Job Centre, where you would go to register if you became unemployed, will be of some help. The Department of Social Security, however, is the main government department to get in touch with to find exactly what you may be entitled to from the state purse. There is a booklet available call “Which Benefit?” which is a comprehensive listing of all DSS benefits available. This can be picked up in larger Post Offices or can be collected from or posted out to you from the DSS. If your DSS office is not conveniently near, then look them up in the phone book and call them, requesting the booklet.

Look through this booklet and make a list of all the benefits which even remotely apply to you. There is no harm in claiming a benefit which eventually you may not get – it’s better to have claimed and been turned down than to continue for a long period missing out on that to which your are entitled.

Your Citizens Advice Bureau can be a ready source of help when trying to find out the source of and entitlement to benefits.

Your local council housing department will deal with any claim for housing benefit when you are claiming an allowance for rented property, whereas the DSS will be the source of any help you may be entitled to with mortgage interest. However, in any claim for housing benefit, the necessary forms for this are obtained from the DSS.

Apart from the benefits available from the DSS and the local housing department there can be a number of other benefits available. For example, the local education authority can be a source of assistance to those with children at school. To find out about any benefits that you may be able to claim from the education authority, consult them directly or through your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

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