Jobseeker’s Allowance is the main benefit for people who are unemployed but are capable of working and are looking for a job. In order to qualify you must be able to start a job straight away.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

In order to qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance you must be able to start work straight away. You must be available and actively looking for work and you will have to go to your local Jobcentre regularly to prove this.

You must have a jobseeker’s agreement. This will set out the things you’ve agreed to do to find work.

You must meet regularly with a Jobcentre Plus adviser to show that you’re able to start work and that you looking for a job as defined in your jobseeker's agreement.

There are three types of Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Income-based JSA
  • Contribution-based JSA
  • New Style JSA

Which one you are eligible for will depend on your circumstances.

New style JSA is Contribution-based JSA which is claimed after Universal Credit Full Digital Service has been introduced in your local area.  All new claims for Contribution-based JSA will be claims for New Style JSA.

Full details of each of the Jobseeker's Allowances, eligibility, how to claim and how much you will receive are available at GOV.UK.

Additional infomaton is available at the following links:

You have to agree to a ‘Claimant Commitment’ if you want to claim JSA. This is an agreement that you’ll complete certain tasks, e.g. make a work plan.

In order to claim either type of Jobseeker’s Allowance you can apply on-line here or you can phone Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688.

If you are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, you must take part in certain schemes if you are advised to do so by a personal adviser. Your benefit may be affected if you refuse to do so or leave a scheme before completing it.

The Work Experience programme is voluntary to join, but it becomes compulsory after you have accepted an offer of a place.

Find a Job is DWP’s free online job posting and matching service.

It is not mandatory for you, the claimant, to give access to your Find a Job account. Access can only be granted voluntarily by you by ticking a box in your Find a Job profile.

Find a Job replaced previous vacancy management services (Universal Jobmatch).

Benefit Cap

Job Seekers Allowance counts towards the Benefit Cap. Your Housing Benefit may go down to make sure that the total amount of benefit you get isn’t more than the cap level.

For details on the Benefits Cap follow this link.

Universal Credit

From April 2013 a new benefit, Universal Credit (UC), has started to replace many existing benefits and tax credits.

UC is currently being rolled out to certain areas across the UK.

Depending where you live and what your personal circumstances are, you might be able to claim UC instead of Jobseekers Allowance.

For a full explanation of Universal Credit follow this link.

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