How to claim Jobseeker's Allowance:
Jobseeker’s Allowance or JSA is paid to people who are available for and "actively looking for full-time work". To keep getting JSA you’ll normally have to attend a Jobcentre Plus every 2 weeks to show how your job search is going.
New sanctions for Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) were introduced in October 2012 which can result in benefit being withdrawn for a period of time. If you experience any difficulties while trying to find work; your income is reduced; or you receive a decision about your jobseeking allowance that you are unhappy with, then you should seek further advice.
If you receive a sanction or reduction in your benefit for not taking part in work or training you should seek further advice, as you may have the right to appeal and get back any money you have lost.
A GAIN Welfare Rights Adviser can advise you. Click here to find your nearest GAIN agency or call the GAIN Helpline on 0808 801 1011 Mon- Fri 10am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Calls are free from land-lines and most mobile numbers.
There are two types of Jobseeker’s Allowance but you can only receive one:
- Contribution-based JSA is a flat-rate taxable allowance, paid for six months, based on your National Insurance contributions
- Income-based JSA is a means-tested taxable benefit for people with no income or a low income, and with savings less than £16,000
Couples: income-based JSA
Couples normally have to complete a joint claim. Both partners must sign on to receive benefit. If one partner does not satisfy the conditions the other partner will be paid at a single person’s rate. If one member of a couple is unfit for work it may be better for them to claim income support instead. There are particular rules for 16/17 year olds.
Available for and actively seeking work:
You must sign on regularly, be looking for work and be able to show evidence of job seeking. You will also be asked to sign a jobseeker’s agreement. You must also fit all the following criteria:
- you are available for work and you are actively seeking full-time work (40 hrs)
- you have entered into and signed a jobseeker’s agreement
- you are not working for more than 16 hours per week
- your partner is not working for more than 24 hours per week
- you are capable of work
- you are under pension age
- you are not in full time education
Since 2011, some Jobseeker's Allowance claimants may have to do unpaid work, or work-related activity, for up to four weeks in order to continue receiving their benefit. Your Personal Adviser at the job centre will decide if you will benefit from being referred onto this scheme.
How do I claim?
On the first day you become unemployed contact your local Jobcentre Plus Office or the Jobcentre. You could lose benefit if you delay. When you register as unemployed you should be given a jobseeker's interview within five days. You will also receive a Jobseeker's Allowance claim pack. If you need assistance to complete this ask the staff or make an appointment at you local social work office for further advice. If you have previously been employed you may be allowed to restrict the type of work you look for during the first 13 weeks. During this period you will only need to agree to look for jobs that are in your normal occupation. You will be asked to sign a jobseeker’s agreement. If you do not sign the agreement you may not get Jobseeker's Allowance. While the Decision-Maker is considering your case you will not get benefit, but you may be entitled to a hardship payment, ask for further advice. People with special needs, health or disability issues can receive specialist advice from a Disability Employment Adviser.
More information on JSA can be found on the DWP website
If benefit is not awarded or is withdrawn you have the right to ask for a revision, or to appeal to an appeal tribunal, within one month of the decision.
If you have any questions about benefits, a GAIN Welfare Rights Adviser can help you. Click here to find your nearest GAIN agency or call the GAIN Helpline on 0808 801 1011 Mon- Fri 10am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Calls are free from land-lines and most mobile numbers.
Glasgow City Council Social Work Services