How Job-seeker’s Allowance Can Help You

shutterstock_127885004.downloadThe Department for Work and Pension is the largest public service delivery in the UK and is responsible for workers’ welfare and pension policy. It is concerned with employment, welfare, and pensions. Among its operational organisations is the Jobcentre Plus that administers working age benefits such as Job-seeker’s allowance and Employment allowance.

Job-seeker’s allowance (JSA) is a benefit you can get if you are not working and seeking employment. There are two types to choose from: Contribution based Job-seekers Allowance which is based on the amount of National Insurance you have paid in the last 2 tax years, and Income based Job-seekers Allowance which is based on your income and savings irrespective of how much National Insurance you have paid. To be eligible for JSA you have to be 18 years of age and above, and have the ability to work and be available. The amount you claim depends on the type you qualify for and your situation. You are required to contact Jobcentre Plus for this service.

JSA covers your living expenses while you are out of work. You will fund it out of National Insurance contributions while on employment, hence, similar to taking a personal insurance policy against unemployment, but managed by the state. You pay into the policy throughout your working life and make claims during periods of unemployment.

You need to prove that you are seriously seeking job before signing on. This involves filling a Job-seeker’s declaration form that shows that you have been looking for a job, you are ready to work and nothing has changed which could affect your claim. After you sign on, you undergo a Job-seeker’s interview where you discuss how you will get on. As a result, you express your interest for work and the organisation will support you in finding work.

If you are under 18 years of age, JSA can still consider you for the benefit for a short amount of time given that you live in the UK, able and ready to work, training and looking for work. This is only possible under the following circumstances:

You do not live with your parents or you simply lack someone to depend on.
You have a partner and children to provide for.
You are desperately in need of money, such that it is only Job-seeker’s Allowance which can help you out.

Adult rules for Job-seeker’s Allowance will apply when you turn 18. You can get JSA if you are in full time education, doing an Open University course or any other short course or training. This illustrates that you are ready and looking for a job since you acquire knowledge and skills necessary for work depending on the field you are specializing in. It is important that you contact a JSA phone number for these cases to check that you are still eligible for the benefit.


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