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Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - What is Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)?

Find out more about Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA).

What is Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)?

Jobseeker's Allowance is a benefit for people who are not in full time employment (work less than 16 hours per week), are capable of working and are looking for work.

If your working pattern varies or you need help to calculate how many hours you work, see our Working hours guide.

There are two types of Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-based and contribution-based.

Applies to: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Age rules: you must be under state pension age and usually aged over 18 to qualify.

If you are aged 16/17 - see our section for Young People (aged 16/17) for information about claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance as a young person.

Type of benefit:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance is means tested

  • Contributory Jobseeker’s Allowance is non means tested

Taxable: Yes

Administered by: JobCentre Plus

Check benefit entitlement

Find out what means-tested benefits you might be entitled to, including tax credits.

Use the Benefits Calculator