You can claim JSA if you are:
- aged 18 or above
- 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, rates or Universal Credit. If you qualify for both new-style JSA and Universal Credit, your JSA will reduce your Universal Credit payment by the same amount.
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 get tax credits or Housing Benefit, these payments will stop when you apply for Universal Credit. It is a good idea to speak to a welfare rights adviser about what is best for your situation.
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