Archive Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Public services all in one place

Main menu

Jobseeker's Allowance

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is a benefit paid to eligible people who are currently unemployed and looking for work.

Start a new claim online

40 minutes

Allow up to 40 minutes to apply for JSA online.

15 minutes

If you've claimed JSA in the last six months and none of your circumstances have changed, it should only take around 15 minutes for you to claim online.

You can claim online if you are eligible for JSA and 18 or over. You'll need:

  • your National Insurance number
  • a phone number where you can be contacted
  • financial, employment and education details for you and your partner, if you have one

You may also find your P45 or P60 useful, but it's not essential.

Your claim will only start from the date you submit it. If you delay you could lose benefit.

Remember: once you start your claim, make a note of your user ID and password - you'll then be able to return to your saved claim any time within seven days.

Who is eligible for JSA?

To claim JSA you need to be actively looking for work and:

  • over 18 but below State Pension age
  • unemployed or working fewer than 16 hours per week
  • living in England, Scotland or Wales

Under 18s: you can't get JSA, except in special circumstances. Follow the link below for more details.

Under 20s: you can't get JSA while you are in education and your parents are receiving Child Benefit for you. If they are, and you've left school or college this summer, wait until 3 September before applying for JSA (that's when the Child Benefit payments usually stop).

Full time students: you can't usually get JSA until your course has officially finished - check the date with your college or university.

What happens after you've submitted your claim online?

You will:

  • get a phone call or text message within two working days inviting you to an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus
  • attend an interview and agree steps towards finding work

Once your claim has been processed, you'll be told whether or not you'll receive Jobseeker's Allowance, how much you'll get and how it will be paid.

How much will you get paid?

Depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to the following amounts:

Your status Maximum weekly amount
Under 25 £56.25
Over 25 £71.00
Couples, civil partnerships £111.45

Unable to claim online?

If you're eligible for JSA but can't claim online, contact Jobcentre Plus by phone:

0800 055 6688
0800 012 1888 Welsh language line
0800 023 4888 textphone

Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.

Information leaflet from Jobcentre Plus

Find out more about Jobseeker's Allowance using the following link:

Access keys