Requirements for a Job Seekers Allowance

Job Seekers allowance (JSA) is a benefit offered to people of working age in the UK who are unemployed and actively seeking work. Claimants must prove they are available for full-time employment and doing all they can to find work.


JSA is a welfare benefit available to those who are unemployed; aged between 18 years and state pension age in the UK; working less than 16 hours a week and not in full-time education. The claimant receives fortnightly payments after signing on at a local jobcentre every two weeks with evidence of actively seeking work. This could be in the form of noted dates of when jobs were searched and the relevant action taken, according to Directgov: "Jobseekers Allowance" 2010.

Allowance Types

There are two forms of JSA: contribution-based and income-based. For those who claim the former, JSA can be paid for up to 182 days and is based on the amount of national insurance contributions made by the individual in the last two tax years. Income-based JSA is paid according to income and savings, so if your national insurance contributions are low, you can claim through this method.


The amount received by claimants depends on their age, marital status and whether they are a parent. Generally, as of 2010, those aged under 25 years receive £51.85 weekly and those older receive £65.45. Couples are entitled to £102.75. These amounts could vary depending on household income, pensions and savings.

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About the Author

Raj Kaur Bilkhu began writing professionally in 2007. She worked as a reporter for Sunrise Radio, Touch Radio and various BBC radio stations. She is now working as a freelance broadcast journalist and writer. Bilkhu holds a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism from Birmingham City University.

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