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Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • 2 min read

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is a benefit paid by the government to people who are out of work. If you’re currently unemployed and looking for a job, you may be eligible.

Before applying, make sure you have these bits to hand:

  • National Insurance number
  • Bank or building society details
  • Employment details for the past 6 months, including dates and contact details
  • Private pension statement

How to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance

You can apply online and within 10 days the Department of Work and Pensions will respond with an approval or rejection.

In your initial phone interview, you will agree to a ‘Claimant Commitment’. This could include a set number of hours per week spent applying for jobs. At your fortnightly Job Centre appointment, take along your various applications and details of any interviews. 

Payments are made every 2 weeks into your bank, building society or credit union account. 

The max you can claim depends on your age:

Age Maximum amount per week
Up to 24 £71.70
25 or over £90.50


Good news: your savings and your partner’s income or savings have no bearing on your claim!

You can also apply to backdate your claim for up to 3 months. Simply provide the date you want the claim to begin from and the reason it was delayed eg. a family bereavement.

Change in circumstances

If circumstances change, let the Job Centre know as soon as you can to avoid a potential penalty. These changes can include starting or stopping work, going abroad or moving house, a change in immigration status or a medical condition. 

Volunteer work will not affect your claim but it’s always worth reporting.

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