How it works

You can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) to help you when you look for work.

This page is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

What you need to do

  1. Check you’re eligible.

  2. Make a claim and go to an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus office.

  3. Keep to your agreement to look for work.

Your JSA payments will be stopped if you do not keep to your agreement to look for work and cannot give a good reason.

Check if you’re eligible for Universal Credit. If you are, you could get Universal Credit at the same time or instead of ‘new style’ JSA.

What you’ll get

There’s a maximum amount you can get - but how much you’re entitled to depends on things like your age, income and savings.

Use a benefits calculator to check how much JSA you can get, and how your other benefits will be affected.

Age JSA weekly amount
Up to 24 up to £57.90
25 or over up to £73.10
Couples (both aged over 18) up to £114.85

How you’re paid

curly lace wigsPayments are usually made every 2 weeks.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are usually paid into your bank, building society or credit union account.

  1. Step 1 Check if you're eligible

    1. Check if you're eligible

    You might also be eligible for Universal Credit.

    1. Find out about Universal Credit
  2. Step 2 Make a claim and arrange an interview

    1. How to claim

    curly lace wigsAfter you claim you'll be contacted within 3 working days to arrange your Jobcentre Plus interview. Your interview will usually be within 7 days.

    You must show you've been looking for work between making your claim and going to your interview.

  3. Step 3 Attend your Jobcentre Plus interview

  4. Step 4 Get your payment

    curly lace wigsYou'll get your first payment within 2 weeks.

    1. You are currently viewing: How and when you're paid

    If your claim is turned down or you're only eligible for National Insurance credits, you'll get a letter within 2 weeks explaining what to do next.

  5. Step 5 Prove you're looking for work

    To keep getting JSA you must follow the agreement you signed at your interview, and report what you’re doing to Jobcentre Plus.

    1. Find out what you need to report to Jobcentre Plus
  6. and Report any change in your circumstances

  7. Step 6 Check when you'll stop getting payments

    curly lace wigsYou'll be told when your payments are about to stop. If your circumstances do not change, this will be after 182 days.

    1. Get support from Jobcentre Plus when your payments stop