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Low Income Benefits and JSA Benefit

Are you looking for work - or in work and getting a low income? If so, certain types of benefits, grants, and other financial support could be available for you. This section lists all the categories related to claiming unemployment benefits. The focus is Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and low income benefits entitlement in the United Kingdom.


The UK Government oversees and pays out the unemployment benefit called Jobseeker’s Allowance. It is an important part of the social security benefits system in the United Kingdom.

There are two different kinds of Jobseeker’s Allowance. But, they are both ‘slowly’ getting replaced by the Universal Credit benefit system.

This section provides essential information and advice on all the principal unemployment benefits. Thus, you can link through to Income Support, Budgeting Loans, Pension Credit, and JSA.

BENEFITS OVERVIEW: The A to Z list of benefits and allowances covers all categories of social welfare. Check out your rights to financial benefits and allowances in the United Kingdom.

Unemployment Benefits for Jobseekers

As you might expect, this is a huge section to cover. So, for simplicity we have divided the information you need into three main categories:

  1. A list of allowances, benefits, and concessions available for people who are out of work.
  2. A section that lists specific assistance for people who are getting a low income.
  3. Information on help and financial support that jobseekers can get through the social security system.

Note: Clicking on any of the page links will take you through to the relevant section to get further details.

1. Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

JSA Benefit

The Jobseeker’s Allowance is the main unemployment benefit for those who are searching for work. JSA benefit helps to cover the living expenses of qualified job seekers while they find employment.

In Work

As a rule, working while claiming JSA is allowed and encouraged. But, the employment must be part time and the job-hunting for longer working hours must continue.

Return to Work

In fact, coming off benefits and going back to work entitles you to extra help and support. Check out the job search programmes and work experiences.

Note: All eligible JSA claimants must state their intention to seek work. They do so by completing a Jobseeker’s Agreement form and attending the New Jobseeker Interview (NJI). Being awarded the Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit means you must also visit a Job Centre to ‘sign on’ every two weeks. The purpose is to verify that you are still ‘actively’ seeking for employment in the United Kingdom.

2. Low Income Benefits

Carers Credit

Contributions help to ensure carers do not lose out on social security benefits. Caring for someone means you may qualify to claim Carer’s Credit.

Constant Attendance Allowance

A claim for the Constant Attendance Allowance relates to the amount of care needed. Discover how the extent of a disability determines how much CAA you can get.

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payments

Two schemes compensate people diagnosed with asbestos related disease. One is Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme and the other is diffuse mesothelioma payments ‘2008 scheme’.

Disability Premium

The guide clarifies exactly what is a Disability Premium and how to get it. Check the list for all current Disability Premiums rates in 2022.

Employment Support Allowance

The Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a financial benefit awarded to those who are unable to work. It also provides personalised help for those who need special assistance to be in work.

Income Support

You might get Income Support if your salary and private savings are below the threshold. In most cases, you are also likely to qualify if you do not sign on as unemployed.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

A detailed section explaining everything about Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. The guide includes current IIDB rates, eligibility, and how to claim the payments.

Pension Credit

The government Pension Credit calculator provides you with a payment estimate. The amount you actually get would depend on your family and financial circumstances when you claim.

Two elements combine to make up an income-related benefit for some pensioners. Check if you meet the Pension Credit eligibility criteria and how much you might get.

Reduced Earnings Allowance

What is the Reduced Earnings Allowance? REA is a weekly payment for qualifying claimants whose income drops because of a work-related disease or accident.

Support for Mortgage Interest

The Support for Mortgage Interest scheme can help cover the cost of mortgage or loan interest payments. Find out what SMI you could get if you are be a homeowner.

In some cases, Mortgage Interest Run On benefit can provide financial help with housing costs. MIRO may apply when certain income-based benefits are about to stop.

Universal Credit

The Universal Credit roll out continues in stages across the United Kingdom. The new UC benefit system will provide a regular payment to help with the cost of living.

3. Extra Help and Support

Benefit Calculator

You can use benefits calculators to work out your entitlement rights. Benefit calculators are anonymous and free to use online.

Budgeting Loans

The Social Fund Budgeting Loan 2022 is an interest-free welfare crisis benefit. The money can help cover living essentials for vulnerable claimants on low income.

Note: The section provides information on tracking budgeting loan applications and how long it takes for a payment to go in the bank.

DWP Christmas Bonus

You might know it as jobseeker’s Christmas Bonus 2022 (DWP XB). Even so, £10 Christmas payments go out to almost all claimants who get certain benefits in the qualifying week.

Help to Save Scheme

The HMRC initiative can help people on a low income save money. Learn how the Help to Save scheme works, eligibility criteria, what you can get, and how to apply online.

Job Grant and In Work Credit

Claimants can no longer apply for Job Grant, In Work Credit, or for Return to Work Credit. But, you may qualify for other support and help moving from benefits to work.

Prescription Prepayment Certificate

You can now get a 3 or 12 month NHS prescription prepayment certificate online. The NHS PPC could save you money if you need to buy a lot of prescribed medicines.

Test and Trace Support Payment

The ‘Self-isolation support scheme’ provides a one-off payment of £500 to people who need to self-isolate due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and are unable to work from home.

Note: The GOV.UK website explains how to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment in England and Wales with further guidance on getting financial support in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Low Income Benefits in United Kingdom