May 29, 2022
Jobseeker's Allowance

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

First of all you can apply for new style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) to help you when you are looking for work.

Jobseeker’s Allowance is an unemployment benefit pay by the Government of the United Kingdom to people

who are unemployed and actively seeking for work. It is part of the social security benefits system and is

intended to cover living expenses while the claimant is out of work.

However, you cannot apply for contribution-based or income-based JSA anymore. If you are currently getting

contribution-based or income-based JSA, you will keep getting payments while you are eligible until your claim ends.

How you can apply

  1. Check if you are eligible.

Eligibility for Jobseeker’s Allowance

For you to be eligible for a ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) you will need to have both:

  • worked as an employee
  • paid Class 1 National Insurance contributions, usually in the last 2 to 3 years.

You will not be eligible if you were self-employed and only paid Class 2 National Insurance contributions, unless you were working as a share fisherman or a volunteer development worker.

You will also need to:
  • be 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 or 17 – contact Jobcentre Plus for advice)
  • 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 on average
  • not have an illness or disability which stops you from working
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales

While you receive JSA, you will need to take reasonable steps to look for work as agreed with your work coach. You must still follow the guidance on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Your savings and 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). After this you can talk to your work coach about your options.

  1. Make a claim for ‘new style’ JSA and attend a phone interview with your local Jobcentre Plus office.
  2. Keep to your agreement to look for work. This agreement is a ‘Claimant Commitment’ and you will create it at your phone interview.

Your JSA payments will stop if you do not keep to your agreement to look for work and cannot give a good reason.

What you will get

Here are some maximum amount you can get – but how much you are entitled to depends on your age.

Use a benefits calculator to check how much JSA you can get, and how your other benefits will be affected.

Age JSA weekly amount
Up to 24 up to £65.05
25 or over up to £80.00

How you are paid

All benefits, pensions and allowances are usually pay into your bank, building society or credit union account.

Your first payment

You may have to wait up to 7 days after applying for your JSA to start, and up to 2 weeks after that to get your first payment.

Your first payment may not be for the full amount.

After your first payment

Payments will usually pay every 2 weeks and they will be the full amount.

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 employer contact details and dates you worked with them
  • private pension statement letter

To reclaim you need to apply again, even if your details have not change.

Backdating your claim

When you apply, you can ask for your claim to be backdated by up to 3 months if you were not able to claim sooner.

If you want to backdate your claim, you will need:

  • A  date you want your claim to start from
  • the reason your claim was delayed

However, Your claims may not be backdated if you do not have a good reason for the delay in making your claim. Reasons for backdating your claim could include:

  • you had a family bereavement – a partner, parent, child, brother or sister died
  • you were given the wrong advice that you could not get JSA

Apply online

You cannot apply online if you are under 18.

Apply for new style JSA


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