How it works

You can apply for ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) to help you when you’re looking for work.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

You cannot apply for contribution-based or income-based JSA anymore. If you’re currently getting contribution-based or income-based JSA, you’ll keep getting payments while you’re eligible until your claim ends.

What you need to do

  1. Check you’re eligible.

  2. Make a claim for ‘new style’ JSA and attend a phone interview with your local Jobcentre Plus office.

  3. Keep to your agreement to look for work. This agreement is called a ‘Claimant Commitment’ and you will create it at your phone interview.

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

Check if you’re eligible for Universal Credit. If you are, you could get Universal Credit at the same time or instead of ‘new style’ JSA.

What you’ll get

There’s a maximum amount you can get - but how much you’re 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 £59.20
25 or over up to £74.70

How you’re paid

Your first payment will usually be within 7 days of your phone interview. It may not be the usual full amount.

After that, payments are usually made every 2 weeks and they will be the full amount.

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

If you’re moving to Universal Credit from income-based JSA

If your income-based JSA claim is ending because you’re making a new claim for Universal Credit, you’ll automatically continue to get the amount of JSA you currently receive, as long as you’re still eligible. You’ll normally get this for 2 weeks, starting from the date of your new claim.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to you telling you how this works.

You do not need to pay this money back, and it will not affect the amount of Universal Credit you get.