Information Now

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

What is Jobseeker’s Allowance?

Jobseeker’s Allowance is a taxable benefit for people who are below pension age and who are unemployed.

Am I eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance?

There are two elements of Jobseeker’s Allowance:

  • Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance for those who have paid National Insurance contributions or credits
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance for those on a low income

To qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance, you must be:

  • able to work and looking for work;
  • aged 18 years old or over; and
  • working less than 16 hours per week on average


Benefit cap

The total amount of money that you can claim may be limited or ‘capped’. This is called the benefit cap.

You’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner work, and either of the following apply:

  • you or your partner are eligible for Working Tax Credit
  • you or your partner get Universal Credit, and your household income is more than £430 a month after tax and National Insurance

How to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance

Jobseeker’s Allowance and University Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit payment that is gradually replacing working age means-tested benefits. In Newcastle, Universal Credit is only available to:

  • individuals making a new claim for one or more of these working age benefits.
  • or if you’ve had a change in circumstances which means you would need to change from one type of benefit to another. For example if your working situation changes or if you have a child.

If this is not the case for you, you should apply for JSA as usual until Universal Credit is introduced fully.

To apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance, you should contact Jobcentre Plus. Visit to find your local office.

Where can I get benefits advice?

It can be useful to speak with someone about the benefits you may be entitled to and how they may impact upon your other benefits. A local independent advice service can help guide you through the process such as;

There are more benefit advice services available across Newcastle. Visit ‘Where to get benefit advice’ here

Other Useful Information

  • Money Advice Service provides online information on the full range of benefits that you may be entitled to.  This also includes where to find more help and advice.
  • Simple Payment Service was introduced as cheques are no longer used to pay state benefits and Pension credit. Information Now has more details on the service available to those unable to use bank accounts.
  • Telephones article on Information Now has details of a more affordable telephone service if you are in receipt of certain benefits for example, Pension Credit, Income Support, Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Last updated: August 13, 2018

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