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Frequently Asked Questions - Job Seekers Allowance

What is means tested Jobseekers Allowance?

Means Tested Jobseekers Allowance is the equivalent of Income Support for people who have to sign-on as available for work but do not meet the qualifying conditions for Contributory Jobseekers Allowance. Means Tested Jobseekers Allowance is claimed through the local Employment Services Office.

What are the conditions for claiming means tested Jobseekers Allowance?

Means Tested Jobseekers Allowance can be paid on top of Contributory Jobseekers Allowance where this is not sufficient to meet the needs of the claimant (and family).

The calculation and conditions are the same as those for Income Support.

The claimant must be available for and show proof of actively seeking full time employment.

It is usually paid fortnightly in arrears. A claim for this benefit will usually trigger involvement from the Child Support Agency.

Childless couples claiming income-based Jobseekers Allowance have to make a joint claim, where one or both members were born after 19 March 1976.

What is Contributory Jobseekers Allowance?

Contributory Jobseekers Allowance has replaced Unemployment Benefit.

Contributory Jobseekers Allowance depends on your National Insurance Contributions. It is not means tested but it is taxable. Contributory Jobseekers Allowance is claimed through the local Employment Services Office.

It is paid at different set rates for persons who are:

  • Under 18
  • Aged 18-24
  • 25 and over

It is paid for a maximum of 6 months.

The claimant must be available for and show proof of actively seeking full time employment.