Jobseekers Allowance

Jobseekers Allowance, also known as JSA, is an unemployment benefit paid by the UK Government to unemployed people who are actively seeking work. The aim of Jobseeker’s Allowance is to help cover people’s living expenses while they’re unemployed and looking for work.

There are two types of Jobseeker’s Allowance, one is contribution-based and one is income-based. Jobseeker’s Allowance is being phased out and replaced by Univeral Credit.

Are you eligible for Jobseekers Allowance?

You may be eligible for receive Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if all of the following apply:

  • you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 or 17 – contact Jobcentre Plus for advice)
  • you’re under State Pension age
  • you’re not in full-time education
  • you’re in England, Scotland or Wales
  • you’re available for work
  • you’re actively seeking work
  • you work on average less than 16 hours per week

There is a different set of rules for Northern Ireland’s JSA eligibility criteria.

You need to be entitled to apply for Universal Credit to claim ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance.