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Different Types of Jobseeker's Allowance

You could get one of two different types of Jobseeker's Allowance. Jobcentre Plus will work out which of the JSA benefit types apply to your claim.

TYPES OF JSA: Any unemployment benefit that you get will either be:

JSA based on National Insurance

Depending on your National Insurance record you might get either:

  • The ‘new style’ JSA
  • Contribution-based JSA
New Style JSA

The new style JSA applies if you live in one of the jobcentre areas where you can claim Universal Credit. Thus, it would mean you are living in a Universal Credit full service area.

There are limits on applying for ‘new style’ JSA if you live outside a UC full service area. You cannot apply unless one of these matches your situation:

  • You are already receiving Universal Credit payments.
  • Your earnings stopped you getting Universal Credit in the past six (6) months.

Note: New style JSA is not affected by income and savings of a partner. You can get it by itself or at the same time as Universal Credit. If so, UC payments get reduced by the amount of JSA received.

Contribution-based JSA

Getting contribution-based JSA will depend of whether you paid enough Class 1 NIC. The calculations get taken from the two (2) previous tax years before the current benefit year. You can use National Insurance Credits to count towards part of the qualification.

Each benefit year begins on the first Sunday in January and finishes one year later. You may be eligible to get contribution-based JSA even if you have savings or your partner is working. But, earnings and a pension will affect the amount you get.

Note: You will not qualify for the contribution-based type of Jobseeker’s Allowance if you never worked.

Income-based Jobseekers Allowance

You could get the income-based type of JSA providing these apply to your situation:

  • Your average working week amounts to less than sixteen (16) hours.
  • If you have a partner, they work less than 24 hours per week (as an average).
  • You and your partner have no more than £16,000 in savings (combined).

Note: People who never worked can only claim for income-based JSA. Even so, claimants cannot get it at the same time as claiming Universal Credit.

Different Types of JSA Unemployment Benefit in the United Kingdom