Claiming job seekers allowance

Have you found yourself without a job and struggling to pay those all important bills? Then fear not, there’s financial support there for you. It’s essential whilst you are unemployed to ensure you still have the financial means there to support yourself and your family. Job Seekers Allowance has been put in place to do just this.

Job Interview

What’s Job Seekers Allowance?

Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) is an employment benefit paid by the Government of the UK to anyone who is seeking employment. It’s part of the social security benefits system and helps to cover any costs of living whilst unemployed. The Job Seekers Allowance provides you with a regular sum of money to help you with these costs.

If you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions then you will be entitled to a non-means-tested contribution-based Job Seekers Allowance. For those who haven’t, you will be paid a means-tested income-based Job Seekers Allowance. There are two types of Job Seekers Allowance, and what you can claim will be decided by the Job Centre at your interview.

Like many government financial benefits, there are some rules put in place to ensure that financial support goes to people who truly need it. If you are wanting to find out more information about the terms and conditions then feel free to get in touch with the Job Seekers Allowance customer services team who will be happy to assist you.

The average payout is as follows (on a weekly basis) for non-income based JSA:

  • 16 to 24: £57.35
  • 25 or over: £72.40

The average payout is as follows (on a weekly basis) for income-based JSA:

  • Single (Under 25) – £57.35
  • Single (25 or over) – £72.40
  • Couples (18 or over) – £113.70
  • Lone Parent (18 or over) – £72.40
  • Lone Parent (Under 18) – £57.35

Are you looking for employment? Then you may want to contact Jobcentre Plus who can help you find employment. 


Am I eligible to claim Job Seekers Allowance?

The all-important question, and whether you are or not falls under certain criteria. To be eligible to claim Job Seekers Allowance you need to be:

  • Over the age of 18
  • Not currently claiming a pension
  • Not studying full-time
  • Live in England, Scotland or Wales
  • Be able and available to start work immediately
  • Currently working less than 16 hours a week

Providing you fall into those criteria you should be able to claim Job Seekers Allowance. In special circumstances people between the ages of 16 and 17 can claim it, this may be worth discussing with your local Job Centre.

If you are looking to make a claim and you have a partner then they must be earning less than £24,000 a year. Due to a cap in place, if you are currently claiming other benefits then you may find your amount reduced.

What can Job Seekers Allowance be used for?

There are through to be around 100,000 people claiming long term Job Seekers Allowance at any one time across the UK. It’s been put in place to help towards any costs of living that may be impacted by your job situation. This can be anything from the general costs of living like bills and food shopping, to helping towards paying your rent.

Are you struggling to pay your rent? Then it may be worth looking into how to claim housing benefits

How do I contact them?

The Job Seekers Allowance team can be contacted by phone. They are open during restricted hours, from 8am to 6pm Monday’s to Friday’s. It would be useful to have all the details and necessary documents needed handy when making the call. This makes the whole process run smoother and far faster. This also means you’re less likely to have to make more than one call to resolve your enquiry.