Are you currently between jobs and wondering how you’ll manage your bills as you actively look for employment? Well, here is the good news, you can get Jobseekers Allowance! But hey, before you get all excited about it, let us look at the basics, the rules, and the possibilities.
What is Jobseekers Allowance?
JSA is a taxable government benefit that is regulated by the Department of Work and Pensions. It two to people who are on a low income or unemployed and actively looking for a job. The allowance can be used to cover living expenses as you look for a job. Before you apply, make good use of the benefits calculator to check your eligibility; you may need to apply for Universal Credit instead.
Eligibility for Jobseekers Allowance
While the allowance is available to any unemployed UK citizen, the set eligibility criteria should be met for one to qualify. These requirements are as follows:
- The applicant must be capable of work, available for work and actively seeking gainful employment
- The applicant must be above the age of 18 but below the State Pension age
- The applicant must work fewer than 16 hours in a week
- The applicant must not be receiving any other government benefits
- The applicant must not be in full-time education
There are some exceptions to the rules. For example, job seekers aged 16 or 17 can qualify for the allowance if proven independent. If you are below 18 years, call the JSA contact number 0843 455 0081 or contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus office for guidance on how to make an application. Keep in mind that JSA rules for Northern Ireland are entirely different. Additionally, any applicant who wishes to claim “new style” JSA should be eligible for Universal Credit.
Applicants Who Are 17-20 Years Old
Young applicants (17-20 years) do not usually benefit from JSA unless;
- You live away from your parents and are independent
- You may suffer severely if you do not get the allowance
- Your parents do not receive child benefits for you
- You are not a full-time student
- You are a part-time student and can take up a job if offered
- You have lived in the UK for the last at least three months
You can get more information on the eligibility criteria that best suits your current circumstances. Call JSA contact number 0843 455 0081 or visit your nearest Jobcentre Plus Office for any inquiries.
Types of Jobseekers Allowances Available To You
There are two main classifications of Jobseekers Allowance today. These are;
- Contribution based, or new style JSA
- Income-based JSA
Your Jobcentre Plus officer will help you determine which type of allowance you qualify for as well as assist you with the process of application.
Contribution Based JSA
If you have paid enough Class 1 National Insurance contributions in the last two years, you qualify for this category of JSA. It is important to note that self-employed contributions to National Insurance are not considered for contribution based JSA.
If you get any other government benefits, it might affect your application. If you are not sure about when and how much your last contribution was, and how it will affect your request, call JSA contact number 0843 455 0081 or visit your nearest Jobs and Benefits or Social Security office.
Income Based JSA
This option is available to job seekers who do not have sufficient National Insurance contributions or have made self-employed contributions only. The Jobseekers Allowance you get under this category is based on your income and savings. You can apply for this allowance if;
- On an average, you work less than 16 hours a week
- Your partner (if any) work an average, less than 24 hours a week
- You have less than £16,000 savings
Note that this type of JSA is heavily dependent on your circumstances. Therefore, any changes in your circumstances, income or savings, will also affect your eligibility and how much you can get.
How to Place a Claim for Jobseekers Allowance
Now that you have assessed your eligibility and realised that you could claim the allowance, how do you go about starting a claim? Here are the most fundamental ways.
- Call JSA contact number 0843 455 0081 to get started
- Visit your nearest Jobcentre Plus office and fill an application form
After the application will be required to attend an interview where you and Jobcentre Plus officer can agree on how to assist you in getting a job. The officer can also provide support services such as assistance with writing a winning resume and how to ace job interviews.
You will need to personally handle 2 compulsory reviews after you place your claim. The first review is after 13 weeks, the second at 26 weeks. These review meetings are meant to help the officer keep track of your job searching efforts as well as give additional career support where necessary.
How Much Jobseekers Allowance Can You Claim?
In order to know the exact amount you can get, you can use the benefits calculator. However, we will look at the maximum amount given as JSA under various circumstances.
Contribution Based JSA
|Applicants under 25 years||£57.90 weekly|
|Applicants who are 25 years or older||£73.10 per week|
Income Based JSA
|Single applicants under 25 years||£35|
|Single applicants who are 25 years and older||£40|
|Couples who are both 18 years and older||£70|
|A lone parent who is 18 years or older||£40|
|A lone parent who is under 18 years||£35|
The amount of Income based JSA depends on a range of circumstances. These are;
- The age of the applicant
- Whether living alone or as a couple
- Whether living with dependants and if they are special needs
- The amount of savings
- Presence of other income sources
- Whether servicing housing costs such as mortgage
Still unsure of how much you can get? You can call JSA contact number 0843 455 0081 for assistance.
Words of Caution
Jobseekers Allowance is available to you until you get gainful employment. Therefore, regardless of how long it takes you to get a job; you can still receive the allowance. However, you can lose the allowance if you do not comply with the agreements you make to your Jobcentre Plus officer. Such offenses include;
- Failing to make efforts to get a job
- Failing to make efforts to improve your skills such as attending recommended training sessions
- Losing a job prospect because of misconduct
- Failing to accept a recommended job without proper explanation
- Missing a review interview with your designated advisor
Here is the more serious bit; you can be barred from applying for the allowance for up to 3 years if you do any of the following:
- You fail to accept suitable job offers without giving valid reasons
- You fail to apply for the jobs recommended by your advisor
- You voluntarily leave a job or misbehave and get yourself fired
- You fail to take part in any of the compulsory work-related activities of the program
Note that you are expected to keep reporting to your Jobcentre Plus officer as agreed even if your allowance is temporarily stopped.
Do you have any complaint, concern or query? All the
JSA contact number 0843 455 0081
today and get sorted!