What is New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance?
New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance is a benefit you can claim if you are unemployed or working less than 16 hours per week, and you are available and looking for full-time work.
Applications for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance are no longer being accepted as this has been replaced by Universal Credit. However, if you are currently receiving income-based Jobseeker's Allowance then you will continue to get these payments until your claim ends.
If you do not meet the NI contribution conditions, you will have to apply for IR-JSA. This is means-tested, therefore any income and capital or savings worth £6,000 or more will affect the amount of benefit you get.
What is a claimant commitment?
When you apply for New Style Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), you will be invited to attend an interview at your local Jobcentre. During the face-to-face meeting, you will be required to present some ID documentation as well as sign a claimant commitment. This will be drafted by both you and your work coach and explains what work-related activities you must do to get a new style JSA and will explain what will happen if you do not do what you agreed to do.
Some of the stipulations of a claimant commitment will include things like:
- What actions you will take to look for work e.g writing a CV
- How many hours you will dedicate to looking for work each week.
You should think about how your mental health affects you and how it may affect you being available for work, and you can ask for your claimant’s commitment to suiting your needs. This may include pay, hours, and travel time as long as they are reasonable, and you should include any issues in your claimant commitment.
The Jobcentre Plus will ask you to go to a meeting to sign on every two weeks – this is when you have to show that you are doing what you agreed to do.
You can ask to speak to the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre Plus, as they could help you with your claim and job search.
Can I claim New Style Jobseeker's Allowance?
You will be eligible for "new style" JSA if you have paid Class 1 National Insurance (NI) contributions in the two previous tax years, and you will receive it for up to six months.
Other eligibility criteria include:
- You must live in either Scotland, England or Wales
- You must be under the State Pension age
- Work less than 16 hours a week
- Not in full-time education
- Not have an illness that stops you from working
- Be available to work
The DWP treat you as being unavailable for work if you:
- Get maternity allowance or statutory maternity pay,
- Are on paternity leave, shared parental or adoption leave, or
- A prisoner on temporary release.
- You will not be eligible if you have only paid Class 2 National Insurance contributions unless you have been working as a fisherman or volunteer development worker.
Can I work if I am claiming income-based JSA?
If you are still eligible you will continue to receive income-based Jobseeker's Allowance until your conditions change.
You are allowed to work less than 16 hours a week and still receive Jobseeker's Allowance. However, if you start working more than 16 hours a week then you may no longer be eligible for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.
For IR-JSA, the amount that you get may also be affected if you have a partner and they work, and you must be looking and available for full-time work. The amount of savings you have can also affect your eligibility. For example, if you or your partner have savings over £16,000 you will stop being eligible for IR-JSA.
Will my JSA stop?
It is important to report any changes in circumstances such as if your income changes or you start working. If you fail to do this you could risk having your claim reduced or completely stopped.
Examples of a change in circumstances can include:
- Starting or stopping work,
- Moving house,
- Changes to you or your partner’s income,
- Changes to the benefits you or anyone else in your house gets.
You can get New Style Jobseekers Allowance for up to 182 days (6 months).
- Social Security Scotland Benefits
- How do I check what I’m entitled to?
- Universal Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Statutory Sick Pay
- Working Tax Credits
- Personal Independence Payment
- Housing Benefit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
- Council Tax: Exemptions and Support to pay
- Social Fund
- Next steps