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Employment & Benefits

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Benefits: Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) 2016/2017

 

Jobseeker's allowance is paid to unemployed people who are actively looking for work and have made enough National Security contributions. It is administered through the JobCenter Plus.

 

Eligibility | types of jobseeker's allowances | Jobcentre sign-on |

claiming jobseeker's allowance | jobseeker's allowance payment |

find a Jobcentre in Edinburgh | State pension age calculator

 


Eligibility

To qualify for Jobseeker's Allowance, you must:

• be available for, capable of, and actively seeking work

• be aged 18 or over but below State Pension age

• be working less than 16 hours per week on average

• reside in the UK

• not be in full-time education

There are two types of Jobseeker's Allowances

1. “Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance” is based on how much National Insurance you have paid in the previous 2 years, and is paid for up to 182 days.

2. “Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance” is based on your income and savings.  

practical-info.png  If you are over 16 years old and are employee or self–employed, you will pay National Insurance contributions, providing your salary is above a certain level. National Insurance contributions give you benefits such as state pension. 


Why do I have to sign on at the Jobcentre?

Because if you are granted a JSA, you engage yourself to actively seek work and you will be required to sign on at your Jobcentre once every 2 weeks – this is compulsory unless you are attending a job interview or have a valid reason no to attend your appointment.

You will need to provide evidence of the actions you have taken to get a job by filling in a sheet e.g. you applied to x number of jobs, went to an interview, enquired about jobs, consulted websites, newspapers, etc. If it becomes obvious to the Jobcentre adviser that you are not serious about finding –or keeping- a job then you are likely to lose your Jobseeker's Allowance. 

If you are in part-time education or training you may still be able to claim Jobseeker's Allowance as long as you are ready to work and looking for work. If you are under 20 years old and in school you will not be able to get Jobseeker's allowance, but may be able to get Income Support.

 

How do I claim Jobseeker's Allowance? 

Before you consider seeking JSA you need to know that, as part of the application process, you’ll be required to have the following: 

• Proof of permanent UK residency (utility bills, council tax, rental contract, etc)

• Telephone number

• UK bank account – if you get JSA, the money will be transferred to your bank account every 2 weeks

• Payslips of at least 6 months

• National Insurance number

practical-info.png To know how to get a National Insurance number read the article on NI number in the Administrative section. 

 

Claiming JSA online

 

Go to:https://www.dwpe-services.direct.gov.uk/portal/page/portal/jsaol/lp

Claiming JSA over the phone

 

Call free on 0800 055 66 88 (lines open Monday to Friday from 08.00 to 18.00). 

Textphone: 0800 023 4888.

 

Jobseeker's Allowance payment

Contribution-based JSA

 

You can only get contribution-based JSA for 182 days (approximately 6 months) if you have paid enough Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs) in the last 2 tax years. You may be able to get income-based JSA after this.

  • Up to £57.90 per week if you are aged 16 to 24 
  • Up to £73.10 per week if you are 25 years old or over

 

Income-based JSA

Income-based JSA is based on your income and savings that is, if you are on a low income and have not paid enough National Insurance as an employee.  

  • Up to £57.90 per week if you are under the age of 25
  • Up to £73.10 per week if you are 25 years old or over
  • Up to £114.85 per week for couples (both aged 18 or over)


warning-32.png As soon as you have a new job you must inform the jobcentre you attend immediately.

 

Find a Jobcentre in Edinburgh

Click this link to find Jobcentre offices.

 

State Pension age calculator

Work out your State Pension age to get an estimate of your basic State Pension.

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