JOBSEEKER’S allowance is available to anyone looking for a full-time job.
Unemployed people, or those who work less than 16 hours a week, are eligible for the allowance – but just how much are they entitled to?
How much is jobseeker’s allowance?
There are three different types of jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) – the “new style”, contribution-based, or income-based.
Each type of JSA pays the same personal allowance each week.
Those eligible, between the ages of 18 to 24 years old, can get up to £58.90 a week.
People aged 25 and over can get up to £74.35 a week.
But if a couple, both aged over 18, wants to claim income-related JSA together, they can therefore then receive £116.80.
The exact amount will depend on circumstances, such as if people work part-time or get a pension.
Premiums, or extra payments, are also available. Disabled people, carers, and women over 65 can also apply.
How often is jobseeker’s allowance paid?
The government typically pays jobseeker’s allowance every two weeks, for up to six months.
Claimants must provide a bank, building society or credit union account to receive the benefits.
Payment is only available in a different way if the person has a problem opening or managing an account.
The government pays the allowance on the working day before if the payment date falls on a weekend or bank holiday.
Payments to Post Office card accounts will stop on November 30, 2021.
Who can apply for jobseeker’s allowance?
Anyone who is of eligible age and is hunting for work in England, Scotland, or Wales can apply for jobseeker’s allowance.
Unemployed people not actively seeking work should instead claim income support.
Sick and disabled people can claim employment and support allowance.
The type of JSA available depends on what, if any, National Insurance contributions they have previously paid and whether someone has a disability.
Applicants for the new type must be 18 or over, not in full-time education, and be available for work.
They must also live in England, Scotland or Wales and have a right to work in the UK, and must be taking reasonable steps to look for work.
What is the difference between Universal Credit and jobseeker’s allowance?
A person can apply for both jobseeker’s allowance and Universal Credit.
JSA is a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or also at the same time as universal credit.
Universal Credit is paid monthly by the government, or twice a month for some in Scotland.
Universal Credit is a payment to help with living costs.
UC is also given to people on low-income, out of work, or for people who cannot work.
UC is replacing: child tax credit; housing benefit; income support; income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA); income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA); and working tax credit.
If someone is qualified for both JSA and Universal Credit, the JSA will be taken into account as income and may affect how much Universal Credit someone receives.