What type of JSA you get

You can get JSA based on:

JSA based on National Insurance

There are 2 types of JSA based on your National Insurance contributions:

  • ‘new style’ JSA
  • contribution-based JSA

‘New style’ JSA

You can apply for new style JSA if you live in a Universal Credit full service area

If you live anywhere else, you can only apply if one of the following is true: 

  • you are already claiming Universal Credit 
  • you stopped getting Universal Credit in the past 6 months because of your earnings

Your partner’s income and savings will not affect how much new style JSA you’re paid.

You can get new style JSA on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit. If you get both, your Universal Credit will be reduced by the amount you get for JSA.

Contribution-based JSA

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

National Insurance Credits can count for part of this.

A benefit year starts on the first Sunday in January.


You make a claim on 15 January 2018. This falls in the 2018 benefit year. This means your entitlement will be based on your National Insurance record for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 tax years.

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

Your earnings and pension will affect the amount of contribution-based JSA you get.

You cannot get contribution-based JSA if you’ve never worked.

Income-based JSA

You may get income-based JSA if 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 and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you

If you’ve never been in work you can only claim income-based JSA.

You cannot get income-based JSA and Universal Credit at the same time.