Facing up to leaving Service

If you are faced with redundancy or an administrative discharge, the future can appear difficult and uncertain. However, it may also be the chance for you to try something new.

So stay MoneyFit in your new life and take advantage of every learning opportunity to prepare yourself for life on civvy street.

What you're entitled to

Unless you are classified as an Early Service Leaver with less than two years' service, you will be entitled to some advice about finding work in civvy street.

If you are being made redundant or you have more than four years’ service, you will be entitled to a resettlement package which will include:

  • career transition support
  • travel warrants, and
  • ‘graduated resettlement time’ to attend resettlement activities.

    Money fitness tip

    Make sure you use your resettlement package to improve your employability.

In addition, if you are being made redundant or have served more than six years there is a grant for individual resettlement training costs.

You can find out more about your entitlements in the Leaving Service section.

Apart from finding a job the other main worry is how you will manage financially. Even if you receive a lump sum on redundancy or discharge you will soon find that life is very expensive without a regular income and you will need to budget carefully until you find another job. 

Make the most of your redundancy

Being MoneyFit means making the most of your redundancy and not just blowing it in one big spending spree.

Here are some ideas for using your redundancy pay:

Use  Things to think about 
 
Supplement your income until you get a job
Clear debts
Use as capital to start a business Make sure you have the skills you need to run your own business. The Royal British Legion's Be the Boss scheme is currently suspended but it signposts people to a number of Start-up Loan providers that may be able to help.
Increase your pension savings
Make other investments Go to the Plan section of the website for information on saving and investing

Tighten your belt

You will need to budget carefully until you get a new job. Make sure you claim all the insurance and state benefits you are entitled to and think about other ways to boost your income.

Insurance

  • Mortgage payment protection insurance – if you have a mortgage you may have taken out this insurance. It typically pays for a year after your earnings stop.
  • Payment protection insurance – you may have taken out this insurance with a personal loan or credit card. It helps you keep up your repayments for up to 12 or 24 months

State benefits

  • If you have enough National Insurance contributions you should be able to claim contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance. This is payable for six months and it does not matter how much your savings are. At the end of six months, if you have savings of less than £16,000 and a low income, you may be transferred to Income-based Jobseekers Allowance. You must be available for work in order to claim. Talk to an Armed Forces Champion at your local Jobcentre Plus.
  • If your income and savings are low you may qualify for help with your mortgage, your rent and Council Tax.
  • If you have children, you should inform the Tax Credits office that you are no longer working. A reduction in your income may mean your credits go up.

Use the Benefits calculator on the Gov.uk website to see what you may be entitled to or talk to one of the Benefits and Money Advice team at The Royal British Legion.

Other income

  • Tax rebate – check with your tax office whether you are due a tax refund - see Claiming a tax rebate after losing your job for more information.  
  • Rent a room – if you have a spare room, consider taking in a lodger. You can earn up to £4,250 per year without having to pay tax - see the Gov.uk website. However, if you are claiming income-related benefits such as Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, you will need to declare your income and it will affect your benefit. If you have a mortgage, you will need permission from your mortgage provider.
  • Consider getting part-time work – check the website Find extra work for ideas about earning extra cash, but remember you will need to declare any income your receive and this will affect your entitlement to state benefits

Spend less

Once you have maximised your income you will need to ensure that you make the most of every penny. Look at the pages on this website in Budgeting to make the most of your money to find some MoneyFitness tips on making the most of your money. Use our Budget planner to see where your money goes and find out if there are any things you can cut back on.

Life after the Forces

If you need help, whether it's financial or advice about finding your feet in Civvy Street there are organisations that can help you.  The Royal British Legion's Civvy Street website has masses of information and resources for finding a job or changing your career. 

SORTED! is a group of seven well established charities waiting to help you by linking you directly with a member of the SORTED! team. They can talk you through your options and direct you to services that are being provided either by the SORTED! team or through their partners and providers, as well as links to employers.

You can also contact Veterans UK (formerly SPVA)SSAFA or any of the many other Service charities for advice on housing, finding a job and much more - see Other Service Organisations on the Legion's Knowledgebase.

And don't forget to use our Budget planner to help prepare your finances for your new life so you can continue to stay MoneyFit.

Last reviewed: 26/10/2015

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