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Jobseekers Allowance



Carers Allowance

What is Jobseekers allowance?

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is a benefit for people who are looking for a job.

If you receive JSA you will usually be paid every 2 weeks.

You can receive:

  • up to £58.90 if you are aged 24 or younger
  • up to £74.35 if you are aged 25 or older
  • up to £116.80 if you are in a couple (both aged over 18).

The amount of money you get depends on things like your ageincome and savings.

Types of Jobseekers allowance

There are 3 types of JSA, they are called:

  • ‘new style’ JSA
  • contribution-based JSA
  • income-based JSA.

The type of JSA you get depends on your circumstances.

New Style JSA

To get ‘new style’ JSA you need to have worked as an employee and paid Class 1 National Insurance contributions, usually in the last 2 to 3 years. (National Insurance credits can also count).

Class 1 contributions are made when you earn more than £183 a week and are under State Pension age.

You also need to:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • be under the state pension age
  • not be in full-time education
  • be available for work
  • not be working at the moment (or be working less than 16 hours per week)
  • not have an illness or disability which stops you from working
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales
  • have the right to work in the United Kingdom.

You also need to take steps to look for work. 

If you are in a couple, your partner’s income and savings will not affect your claim.

You can get ‘new style’ JSA for up to 182 days (about 6 months). 

Contribution based JSA

You can only apply for contribution-based JSA if you get the severe disability premium (or you are entitled to it) or you have got it within the last month and are still eligible for it.

You also need to have worked as an employee and paid Class 1 National Insurance contributions, usually in the last 2 to 3 years. (National Insurance credits can also count.) 

Class 1 contributions are made when you earn more than £183 a week and are under State Pension age.

You also need to:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • be under the state pension age
  • not be in full-time education
  • be available to work
  • not be working at the moment (or be working less than 16 hours per week)
  • not have an illness or disability which stops you from working
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales
  • have the right to work in the United Kingdom.

You also need to take steps to look for work. 

If you are in a couple, your partner’s income and savings will not affect your claim.

You can get contribution-based JSA for up to 182 days (about 6 months).

Income Based JSA

Your employment in the last 2 to 3 years does not affect your eligibility for income-based JSA.

You can only apply for contribution-based JSA if you get the severe disability premium (or you are entitled to it) or you have got it within the last month and are still eligible for it.

You’ll also need to:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • be under the state pension age
  • not be in full-time education
  • be in England, Scotland or Wales
  • be available for work
  • not be working (or be working on average less than 16 hours per week)
  • not have an illness or disability which stops you from working
  • be single, or have a partner who works for less than 24 hours a week on average
  • have £16,000 or less in savings (including your partner’s savings).

You also need to take steps to look for work.

How to apply for JSA

You can apply for ‘new style’ JSA online on the GOV.uk website.

To apply you will need your:

  • National Insurance number
  • bank or building society account details (or those of a family member or trusted friend)
  • employment details for the past 6 months (including contact details and dates)
  • private pension statement letter.

You can apply for contribution or income-based JSA by phoning Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688.

If you are applying for income-based JSA, and you and your partner are not responsible for a child, you must apply with your partner (this is called making a ‘joint claim’).

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