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Claiming benefits

The United Kingdom has a complex system of benefits. However, only some are available to new arrivals, and it is important that you are well informed on which benefits may be available to you and under which conditions. In the UK you are entitled to be treated in the same way as English nationals concerning social services, meaning that you are permitted to apply for any of the benefits available to British citizens. However, this does not mean that you will automatically get benefits, and it is essential for you to be aware that you may not qualify for them after arriving in the United Kingdom. Some of the welfare payments you received in Ireland, such as State Pension, may be transferred to your bank account in the UK. Organisations such as the London Irish Centre and Irish Advice and Information Service can help with this. The United Kingdom, like the Republic of Ireland, has a complex system of benefits. The DirectGov website provides all the relevant information on how to apply for benefits and what types of benefits are available in the United Kingdom. For advice and guidance, call the Jobcentre Plus line on 0800 055 6688. It is essential to be aware that you may not qualify for all benefits when arriving in the United Kingdom.

Jobseeker’s allowance

One of the most commonly claimed benefits is Jobseekers Allowance. To get Jobseeker’s Allowance you must be: Available for, capable to and actively seeking work Aged 18 or over but below State Pension age Working less than 16 hours per week on average in Great Britain In 2011 the maximum a single person aged between 16-24 years of age would be eligible for is £53.45 (€60) per week, and if you’re over 25 the maximum amount payable is £67.50 (€76)21. It is important to be aware that the amount of benefit payable in the United Kingdom for certain benefits will be significantly lower than the amount payable in the Republic of Ireland.

Housing and council tax benefits

Once you have made the move to London, if you are in need of financial help to pay your rent or council tax, you will need to contact your Local Authority Benefits Service. They will deal with all aspects of your claim including assisting you with filling in claim forms, advising you on what information/proofs are required, what entitlement to benefit you may have or do have and how your benefit is going to be paid. Organisations like the London Irish Centre can help you with this.

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Moving to London; A Practical Companion for Irish People  
Moving to London; A Practical Companion for Irish People  

A helpful, practical and comprehensive guide to Moving to London for Irish people. Published by the London Irish Centre in May 2012.

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