A. One option is Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). You can still claim this as a contractor, although the rules are rather stringent. The main issue is capital you hold – both personally and in the business – which must be less than £16,000.
You must also have paid Class 1 National Insurance contributions in the past 2 tax years before the claim and should not be currently working for more than 16 hours a week.
If you meet the criteria for the above you may also be eligible to housing benefit and council tax benefit.
It would be worth speaking to the Citizens Advice Bureau for more information.