‘New style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance: a complete guide

8 December 2022 by Robin - 7 minutes of reading time

new style What is ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance? How may I earn the benefit? The ‘new style’ version of this benefit is replacing previous versions of Jobseeker’s Allowance. This game will tell you everything you need to know. This includes how to apply, what documents you will need, and how much you can get.

What is ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)?

‘New style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance is the new form of the Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit. Indeed, you may have known the benefit under the name ‘condition-based’ or ‘income-based’ Jobseeker’s Allowance. However, now you may only apply for the ‘new style’ form of the benefit.

‘New style’ JSA is a benefit for people who are currently out of work. You may earn this benefit in order to be able to find a job. It will award you payments which can help you in doing this. However, there are conditions.

You can apply online on the Gov.UK website. If you live in Northern Ireland, you may apply on the nidirect.gov.uk website.

Am I eligible for ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)?

Am I eligible for 'new style' Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)?

You may be eligible for ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance. In order for this to be the case, two things need to be true. First, you must have been the following:

  • previously working as an employee
  • made Class 1 National Insurance contributions
    • this will typically have to have been true in the past 1 or 2 years
    • you may also be eligible if you earned National Insurance credits

You may have been self-employed. If this is the case, you likely made Class 2 National Insurance contributions. Then, you would only be eligible if you were a volunteer development worker or share fisherman.

Additionally, some more things will need to be true about your situation. More specifically, all of the conditions below. You:

  • currently reside in England, Wales or Scotland
  • are currently not working, or working fewer than an average of 16 hours weekly
  • are not affected by a disability or illness that keeps you from being able to work
  • can work soon, if you find a job
  • are not a full-time student
  • are both younger than State Pension age, as well as 18 years or older
    • you may be 16 or 17. If this is the case, you may still qualify. Contact Jobcenter Plus with any questions that you have

While receiving this benefit, you will have to look for work. The conditions will be set by your work coach. Also note that your eligibility for new style JSA likely means that you are also eligible for Universal Credit. You may get one or the other, or both at the same time.

How much will I get with ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)?

Note that neither your or your partner’s savings, as well as your partner’s income, will impact your new style Jobseeker’s Allowance.

You can earn new style JSA for a maximum of 182 days. In short, this is the equivalent of about 6 months. Once this amount of time has passed, you can discuss what you may do with your work coach.

You can get 2 different rates of ‘new style’ JSA. Indeed, how much you receive is mainly dictated by your age. Below is a table indicating how much you may earn. Note that you can earn less than the amounts indicated. However, you may not earn more.

Jobseeker's Allowance rates in 2022
How old you are Weekly payment amounts
24 years or younger £59.20 or less
25 years or older £74.70 or less

Your JSA will typically begin 7 days after you submitted you claim new style JSA. Then, you first payment may take up to 2 weeks to arrive. Additionally, you may not receive the full amount with your first payment.

After your first payment, you will typically receive money every 2 weeks. Then, the amounts you receive will be everything you are entitled to.

What if I am still getting contribution or income-based JSA?

You may still be receiving an old version of this benefit. If this is the case, you would then typically keep receiving payments, until your claim ends. Otherwise, you may stop receiving payments if your conditions change.

Additionally, your eligibility JSA might stop if you or your partner start working. This could also be the case if your savings exceed £16,000. However, if your claim simply ends, you may be eligible for either ‘new style’ JSA, Universal Credit, or both.

How can I apply for ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)?

Make sure that you know you are eligible before applying for new style Jobseeker’s Allowance. Then, you may apply. Indeed, you can submit your application on the Gov.UK website. However, you may live in Northern Ireland. Then, you may apply on the nidirect.gov.uk website.

Note that you need to be 18 years or older in order to apply online.

You will need a number of information in order to apply. More specifically, you will need to provide the following:

  • a private pension statement letter
  • the details of your building society or bank account 
    • it can be the details of one belonging to a trusted person, like a close friend or family member
  • the details of your employment, going back 6 months
    • they must contain the dates that you worked for your employer, as well as their contact details
  • your National Insurance number

You may be 16 or 17. Or, you could require help in order to apply. Lastly, you could need communications to be done in any kind of alternative format. If this is the case, you may contact Jobcenter Plus.

Can I backdate my ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance claim?

You may also backdate your claim. However, you may only do so for a maximum of 3 months before the date of your new style Jobseeker’s Allowance claim. Then, you must have the following information:

  • why you were not able to make your claim sooner
  • when you want your claim to start
Note that you need to provide a good reason as to why you did not apply sooner if you want to backdate your claim. Indeed, this can be a couple of things. For example, you received wrong information, and did not know you could apply. Or, you experienced the death of a family member or partner.

What happens after I apply for ‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance?

What happens after I apply for new style Jobseeker's Allowance?

After you apply, you should receive a text. Indeed, it will inform you that your application was indeed submitted. Once that is the case, you should be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Furthermore, they will do so within 10 days of you applying.

The DWP may not have contacted you within 10 days of you filing your application. If this is the case, you may then contact them.

You may qualify to receive the benefit. If this is the case, you would then have to do an interview. It will be over the phone, and with your work coach. They will likely come from your local Jobcentre Plus office.

You may need additional help in order to attend your phone interview. For example, you may need someone to translate for you. Or, a health condition or disability may keep you from hearing, for example. In this case, contact Jobcenter Plus. They will be able to help you. 

You may not feel comfortable attending the phone interview by yourself. If this is the case, you may invite someone else to do it with you.

During the interview, a couple of things will happen. First, your work coach will need to verify your identity. Then, both of you will construct you ‘Claimant Commitment’. Your Claimant Commitment consists of things you will have to do in order to find a job. Indeed, once that is decided with your work coach, you will have to follow your Claimant Commitment. It may consists of things like making a resume or applying for jobs. 

If you are not eligible, you will receive a letter from the DWP saying just that. Additionally, if you disagree with the decision that was taken, you may ask for a mandatory reconsideration.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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