I just came across this blog rant ("blant") written by someone such as myself who is not currently "unemployed" but who is partially-employed. I empathised very much with her. I thought you would find her story interesting, because one day it could be you. (No, I didn't think it would be me either, and I don't suppose she ever thought it would be her.)
She signs on at the Job Centre Plus every week, because she is only currently able to find employment for less than 16 hours per week. She does not receive any benefits from signing on, but this post tells the tale of how the bureaucracy of the welfare state obstructs her even so much as taking a few days of holiday with her family to briefly escape the grim reality of her everyday life.
I suspect, like myself, she has contributed massively to the coffers of the welfare state over the years of being gainfully employed, probably a lot more than she realised. In return, at her hour of need now, she finds that she does not qualify to receive anything back from the government, except obstructing her right to freedom.
There are many, many of us cooling our heels currently that are not part of the official unemployment statistics -- which is good, because the official statistics are already bad enough without us.
Personally, I prefer not to have anything to do with the Job Centre (or anything else to do with the government, if it can be avoided). I guess for the time being I am lucky that I do not have to go down that route.
I hope you never find yourselves unexpectedly in this situation. If you are, I hope you have prepared accordingly in advance.