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Jobseekers’ and part time workers’ benefits

Financial support available to those looking for work, or working part time

Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)

JSA is for people of working age who are out of work or work fewer than 16 hours a week on average.

If you qualify, it’s paid while you're looking for work.

One type of JSA is paid if you have paid enough National Insurance (NI) contributions. This is limited to 26 weeks.

When this runs out, or if you haven’t paid enough NI contributions, you may be eligible to claim income based JSA. This depends on your income and savings and (for couples) your partner’s income and savings.

For more information see Jobseekers Allowance on GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

For more information about finding employment, you can also visit your local CAP club

Universal Credit for jobseekers

Means tested Jobseekers Allowance will gradually be replaced by Universal Credit for claimants.

Find out more on our Universal Credit page.


If you're entitled to JSA or Universal Credit, you'll be given a list of conditions you must keep to. If the Jobcentre decide you haven't met the conditions of your jobseeker’s agreement, you may be sanctioned.

This means your Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit won’t be paid for a period of time.

If your benefit is sanctioned, you may be eligible for a hardship payment.

For further information see Jobseekers Allowance on GOV.UK (opens in a new window) or sanctions on GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

Income Support

You can claim Income Support if you're on a low income and meet certain criteria, such as:

  • you're a lone parent with a child under five years
  • you're pregnant or have recently given birth
  • you're a carer who needs help to top up their Carer's Allowance

Income Support will eventually be replaced with Universal Credit.

For more information see Income Support on GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

Other benefits

You may also be entitled to: