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Income Support changes for young jobseekers

21 July 2015

One of the recently proposed changes announced by the Social Security Department in the Medium Term Financial Plan, to identify £10M of savings within benefit budgets by 2019, has now come into effect.

Until now, a jobseeker aged between 19 and 24 could claim Income Support and receive £92.12 per week, even if living at home with parents who have high incomes and do not qualify for Income Support.

From today, this will change as the Minister has approved a new measure to improve the targeting of benefits while protecting vulnerable young adults and young jobseekers living in low income households.

The change is being made now to allow young people to make informed decisions about their future ahead of the next academic year.

Changes to Income Support for 19 -24 year-olds

  • from 20 July 2015, young people under the age of 25 who still live in the family home will no longer be able to make their own claim for Income Support.  Instead, they will be included with the parent’s or guardian’s household
  • if a young person’s family is currently receiving Income Support, the total benefit received will stay the same
  • if a young person’s family is not receiving Income Support, their claim will be closed from 1 September 2015. If the family has a low income then the parent or guardian should contact the Department to estimate whether a household claim for Income Support is possible
  • young adults with a serious illness or disability, young parents and people who are unable to live in the family home are not affected by these changes

The Social Security Minister, Deputy Susie Pinel, said  “One of the biggest challenges we face as a department is in identifying areas where public money is not targeted. With the growing need to make savings across the States as a whole, this is one of a number of changes we will be implementing to help us achieve this.

“The new measures introduced today will allow us to continue to support those young people who really need our help, by providing a fairer and more targeted benefits system that protects the vulnerable in Jersey. It will also encourage young people to move closer towards financial independence and enable the department to make a saving of up to £200,000 by the end of 2016.”

Jobseekers currently receiving Income Support who will be affected by the recent changes have already been notified by the Department.

Social Security’s Back to Work teams will continue to work closely with all locally qualified jobseekers, to help make them more employable by providing dedicated support, and training in the skills they need to get into paid and sustainable employment.

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