Benefits you're entitled to: Jobseeker's Allowance

Published by on 21 January 2015.
Last updated on 07 April 2015

Benefits you're entitled to: Jobseeker's Allowance

However, many families do not get the help that they need, either because they do not understand the system, or because they think that they are not entitled to anything.

Here's the Moneywise guide to claiming Jobseeker's Allowance.

What is it?

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is a benefit for those who could work but who currently aren't but are looking for a job.

How much might you get?

There are two different types of JSA. The first, income-based JSA, is means tested. The second, contributory JSA, is not means tested. Contribution-based JSA is received for six months after becoming unemployed if you have paid enough National Insurance contributions.

You only get income-based JSA if your income and savings are low enough. If you have a partner they must either not be working, or working fewer than 24 hours a week.

Contribution-based JSA is £57.90 per week if you are under 25 and £73.10 if you are 25 or over. You you may get less if you have part-time earnings or a personal/occupational pension.

Income-based JSA is very variable, depending on savings, housing costs and other circumstances. It is calculated by comparing your income to an amount that the government considers enough to live on.

How can I work out what other benefits I'm eligible for?

The amount of money families receive from benefits varies wildly depending on circumstances. The government website gov.uk has details of how to contact different departments, while the tax credits helpline is available on 0345 300 3900.

The charity website Turn2us.org.uk includes a calculator that allows you to input all of your circumstances and work out your entitlements, while the charity also has a free helpline on 0808 802 2000.

Another benefits calculator is available at entitledto.co.uk.

BENEFITS YOU'RE ENTITLED TO: WORKING TAX CREDIT

BENEFITS YOU'RE ENTITLED TO: INCOME SUPPORT

BENEFITS YOU'RE ENTITLED TO: HOUSING BENEFIT

BENEFITS YOU'RE ENTITLED TO: EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT ALLOWANCE

BENEFITS YOU'RE ENTITLED TO: CHILD TAX CREDIT

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