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Jobseeker’s Allowance: How To Get Financial Help While You Are Looking For Work

By IntFormalities
Updated on November 29, 2023
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

In recent years, the UK has faced economic challenges, from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic to inflation and an impending recession. As a result, job security has become a concern for many. In response, the UK government has implemented measures to ease the burden of unemployment. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance, exploring its components and providing guidance on how to navigate the application process.

Jobseeker's Allowance: What It Is and How to Apply
The New Style Jobseekers Allowance aims to ensure people can cope during a period of unemployment

What Is Jobseeker’s Allowance?

As part of the social security payments, the UK government offers Jobseeker’s Allowance to those who need it. This government-funded monetary aid is reserved for UK nationals or permanent residents who are unemployed and searching for employment. It is also good to know this money is tax-free.

Who Can Apply for JSA?

To apply for help under this program, you must be genuinely struggling to get work and not have savings or any other reliable and sustainable source of income. As a general rule, you must also be at least 18 years old to receive this help, though the government provides an exception for individuals between 16 and 17 years old.

Self-employed persons who pay class 1 national insurance contributions can also access this help if they apply.

Disabled people and foreigners can’t apply for this program. Other government-funded social security services, such as Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance, are provided for these people.

Requirements and Documentation Needed

Since this service is reserved for jobless people, you will have to provide sufficient information to make it easier to pick you out of the pool of individuals seeking financial help as they look for work. Failure to do this could result in your application being rejected.

JSA is among the most demanding government services as far as requirements and documentation are concerned. When applying for this program, you must:

  • Provide a birth certificate or a government-issued ID to prove your age
  • Prove your previous employment (last six months)
  • Provide your National Insurance Number
  • Give bank or building society account information
  • Offer annuity and private pension details
  • Be below the state pension age
  • Not be a full-time learner
  • Be available to pick up jobs
  • Not be working at all or be working no more than 16 hours per week
  • Be healthy
  • Reside in England, Wales, or Scotland
  • Be actively looking for employment opportunities

How To Apply for JSA Step-by-Step

Once you confirm that you fulfil the requirements, you can proceed to apply online. This service is available all year round, so you can apply anytime to start receiving these benefits.

To begin the application process, you will have to answer a few questions regarding your location and employment status. Next, you must provide your National Insurance Number to access and complete the application form. Fill out the form, attach any necessary documents, and submit the application.

If you are successful, you will be invited to interview at your local Jobcentre Plus office. Otherwise, you will receive a letter stating the reasons for refusal. If you apply for this service and your request is declined, you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration if you are unsatisfied with their decision. You can find out here if your situation allows you to challenge the sanction.

The primary application channel for this allowance is the online service. However, people finding it hard to complete the application over the internet can see additional contact details for Jobcentre Plus

How Much Do You Get on Jobseeker’s Allowance?

How much is job seekers’ allowance? The amount of money you receive significantly depends on your age. Applicants between 18 – 24 years will get £61.05, while everyone 25 years and above will receive £77 weekly. The money is credited into your bank or building society account.

Sometimes, people can lose access to this service if they do not report a change in the circumstances. Therefore, if you or your partner get a job, don’t forget to inform Jobcentre Plus so they can update your circumstances.

Can JSA Be Combined with Other Government Programs?

In most cases, applicants receive the jobseeker’s allowance alone, but if the bureau deems your situation fitting, you can also be eligible for Universal Credit. Though both subsidies serve a similar purpose, their longevity is somewhat different. Successful applicants of the JSA receive help for a maximum of 182 days. When it comes to universal credit, the amount is given to people with little to no income to cater to living expenses, which means they can continue to receive it for as long as it is necessary.

Can You Keep Receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance After You Find a Job?

Some people still keep receiving this allowance even after getting a job. This is known as an income-based JSA. However, it would be best to get in touch with Jobcentre Plus to enquire about this possibility and explore your options.

How To Apply for JSA Step by Step
Successful applicants of the JSA receive between £6105 £77 a week for a maximum of 182 days

How Long Can You Get Jobseeker’s Allowance for?

Once you apply for JSA, you will wait up to one week before receiving your weekly stipend. The good thing about JSA is that it does not have a time restriction, which means you can apply anytime. However, you can only receive this aid for a maximum of 182 days. Remember that you must inform the relevant people regarding a change in circumstances. Otherwise, you may lose your right to JSA.

In a Nutshell

Job seekers’ allowance is a weekly stipend given to people who do not have a job or have one that pays a meagre income. Eligible individuals can receive between £61.05 and £77 per week depending on their age and personal circumstances for a maximum of 182 days. If you fall under this category of people, we suggest you contact Jobcentre Plus so they can help you claim this monetary aid within a week.

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