You can claim JSA if you are:
- aged 18 or above (or aged 16 or 17 in certain cases)
- not in full-time education
- not working or working less than 16 hours a week on average
- fit for work
- available for work and actively looking for work.
In Northern Ireland, you cannot claim JSA if you are in certain types of education or receiving certain other benefits. Contact a welfare adviser for more information.
New-style JSA is for people who have paid enough National Insurance. This used to be called contribution-based JSA.
Depending on your situation, you may also be entitled to other benefits such as help with council tax.
New-style JSA lasts for 6 months. After this, you may qualify for Universal Credit if your income and savings are below a certain level.
If you are eligible, you should apply for new-style JSA first. You may also be able to apply for Universal Credit if your income and savings are low. Advisers at your local Jobcentre Plus, or Northern Ireland Social Security or Jobs and Benefits office, will help you with your job search. If you need advice about work because of an illness or disability, ask to see a disability employment adviser.
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can apply online, by phone or through your local Jobcentre Plus. To find out more go to gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/how-to-claim You will need to attend an interview with an adviser at your local Jobcentre Plus.
If you live in Northern Ireland, you can apply through your local Social Security or Jobs and Benefits office. You can find your nearest office at nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/jobs-benefits-offices
You will need to attend an interview with an adviser at the office. You can find out more at nidirect.gov.uk/articles/jobseekers-allowance