1. How it works

You can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) to help you when you look for work.

This page is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

What you need to do

  1. Check you’re eligible.

  2. Make a claim and go to an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus office.

  3. Keep to your agreement to look for work.

Your JSA payments will be stopped if you don’t keep to your agreement to look for work and can’t give a good reason.

What you’ll get

There’s a maximum amount you can get - but how much you’re entitled to depends on things like your age, income and savings.

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

Age JSA weekly amount
18 to 24 up to £57.90
25 or over up to £73.10
Couples (both aged over 18) up to £114.85

You can’t get income-based JSA and Universal Credit at the same time.

How you’re paid

Payments are usually made every 2 weeks.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, eg a bank account.

What type of JSA you get

You can get JSA based on either:

Jobcentre Plus will work out which type you can get.

Contribution-based JSA

You may get contribution-based JSA if you’ve paid enough Class 1 National Insurance contributions in the 2 tax years before the current benefit year.

National Insurance Credits can count for part of this, if you get them.

A benefit year starts on the first Sunday in January and ends a year later.

You make a claim on 20 February 2016. This falls in the 2016 benefit year. This means your entitlement will be based on your National Insurance record for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 tax years.

You can get contribution-based JSA even if your partner works or you have savings.

Income-based JSA

You may get income-based JSA if all of the following apply:

  • you work less than 16 hours per week on average
  • your partner (if you have one) works less than 24 hours per week on average
  • you have £16,000 or less in savings