Helping tenants with unemployment

Registering with the Job Centre

Jobcentre Plus is a government funded employment agency. Its purpose is to help people find work through services such as job hunting programmes and external job vacancies

You will not be able to claim unemployment benefits if you are not registered, for example Job Seekers Allowance, and new style Job Seekers Allowance.

Adelphi House, Friar Street, Reading RG1 1HD

Claiming benefits

You may be entitled to claim other benefits whilst you look for work. You can use the following links to check your benefit entitlements, such as help to cover your rent, plus information on how to make a claim:

If you have a health condition or disability which prevents, or limits your ability to work, you must declare this when making a claim for Universal Credit. If you are already claiming Universal Credit you will need to report a change of circumstances.

The Benefit Cap

If you are affected by the cap if may be harder for you to afford a private rental.

The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit you can claim (including Universal Credit). If you have just applied for Universal Credit after losing your job then you may be entitled to a 9 month grace period if you have worked within the last 12 months before making your claim and were paid at least £604 every month. However, if your working hours have dropped, to 16hrs per week for a single person or 24hrs per week if you are a couple, then you should not be affected by the Benefit Cap.

You are also not capped if you receive disability related benefits such as PIP or Carers Allowance.

Personal Independent Payments*

Help with the extra costs associated with having long term ill-health or a disability. You could get between £23.60 and £151.40 a week.

For further information go to

Carers Allowance*

If you look after a child or young person with special educational needs, a disability, or a long term illness, you are carer. If you look after them for 35 hours a week or more, you may be entitled to claim Carers Allowance.

If you look after an adult for at least 35 hours you can also claim. You don’t need to be related to or live with them.

For further information, including how to apply, go to

*Those that claim carers allowance and PIP are not affected by the benefit cap (see below).

Help with claiming benefits

Communicare provides support with claiming benefits, and mandatory reconsiderations. Contact or 0118 9263941.

Nquire offers free support, advice, and information to people in and around West Reading. This includes help with welfare benefits advice, form filling, letter writing, and debt referrals. Contact or 01189 959 8558.

Reading Community Welfare Rights provides a specialist service to all sectors of the local community in relation to all welfare benefits including mandatory reconsiderations, appeals, and preparation for court hearings, advice on your right to challenge benefit benefits, assistance with benefit check and form filling. Contact or 0118 955 1070.

The benefit cap

If you are affected by the cap if may be harder for you to afford a private rental.

The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit you can claim (including Universal Credit). If you are claiming Universal Credit the cap may not start for 9 months (i.e. you will not get less Universal Credit during this grace period). If you (and your partner) work at least 16 hours a week on at least the minimum wage you will lift the cap. This is the equivalent to earning £604 a month. PIP = cap lifted

Carers Allowance = cap lifted    = better off!

£604 a month = cap lifted

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments can provide extra money when the council decides you need extra help to meet your housing costs. Anyone claiming housing benefit or Universal Credit can make an application:

Council Tax Support

You may be eligible for a council tax reduction if you are on a low income or claiming benefits.

Employment support and advice


Launchpad offers an education, training and employment service. Clients can receive support with numeracy and literacy skills, IT skills, CV writing and interview skills, accessing education and training opportunities, overcoming employment barriers (e.g. criminal records or lack of qualifications), travel costs and getting suitable clothes, and online learning courses.

Launchpad is also opening Reading’s first work and life skills centre. The service will available to those facing homelessness. The centre will include a training kitchen for cooking and barista courses, and an IT suite for job searching and online learning.


Communicare offers varying levels of employment advice. They also assist with CV writing, job searches, and job applications. Contact or 0118 926 3941.

Alana House

Alana House is a community project run by PACT that uses a holistic approach to support and empower women. They offer a confidential, women-only, non-judgemental space and welcome all women who feel they need help and support.

AH aims to help women take control of your life by making informed decisions, and can provide information, support and advice on, amongst other things, education, training and employment

Smart Works

Smart Works provides women in the Thames Valley area with high quality clothes and accessories for a job interview. The service is open to any woman who has a confirmed job interview for a paid position, apprenticeship, internship or voluntary work. Each client receives one-to-one interview preparation and coaching with an experienced HR professional or senior manager. If you are successful at interview, you will be welcomed back to receive 5 additional pieces of clothing so you feel ready and confident in your new role.

Reading Community and Learning Centre

Reading Community and Learning Centre is a charity that helps ethnic minority women and their families living in the Reading area. Most service users are migrants who speak little or no English, and have limited experience outside their home. RCLC provides free and informal non accredited English conversation classes, reading and writing, IT, sewing, health and beauty, confidence building, and employability classes.

Contact or 0118 959 5455

Last updated on 04/02/2021