Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and unemployment benefit advice | ƹƵ


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Jobseeker's Allowance

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is an unemployment benefit for people who are looking for work. It's now only possible to make a new claim for New Style JSA.

What is New Style JSA?

New Style JSA is extra money to help you cover your living costs while you're looking for a job. It's based on your National Insurance (NI) contributions over the past 2 to 3 years. It can be claimed either on its own or with Universal Credit.

How much you'll get depends on your age. The maximum weekly rates for 2023/24 are as follows:

  • up to £67.20 if you're under 25
  • up to £84.80 if you're 25 or over.

If you already receive income-based JSA, you can continue to do so as long as you're eligible.

Am I eligible for New Style JSA?

To qualify for New Style JSA, you must:

  • be unemployed or working fewer than 16 hours a week
  • be under State Pension age
  • not be in full-time education
  • not have an illness or disability which stops you from working
  • be available and actively looking for work
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales – there are different rules for Northern Ireland.

Are you entitled to extra money?

Do you know what benefits you are entitled to? Our Benefits Calculator can help you, quickly and easily, to find out what you could be claiming.

How do I claim New Style JSA?

There are a couple of ways you can claim New Style JSA. You can:

  • call Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688 (you should only use this option if you're 16 or 17, or if you cannot use the online service independently and need help applying).

Later in the application process, you'll have an interview with your local Jobcentre Plus. You can contact them in advance if you need any support because of a disability or health condition.

You can bring a relative or friend along to your interview for support, too.

During the interview, your adviser will write out a Jobseeker’s Agreement (known as a ‘claimant commitment’). In it, you'll set out the type of work you want and agree on the steps you'll take to find a job.

If your adviser feels you’re not keeping to your Jobseeker's Agreement then your benefit could be reduced or stopped altogether.

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We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local ƹƵs.

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Last updated: Oct 05 2023

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