What is Jobseekers Allowance?

Jobseekers Allowance (sometimes called JSA) is money paid by the government to unemployed people who are looking for work. You are usually eligible for JSA if you are aged between 16 and 65, and not in full-time education. The amount of money you receive depends on how old you are, and whether you live with a partner. In 2012 the standard rate is £53.45 per week for individuals under 25, £67.50 per week for individuals aged 25 or over, and £105.95 per week for a couple. JSA is usually paid fortnightly, directly into your bank account.

You may be eligible for JSA if you work part-time and earn less than the standard rate of JSA. In most cases the amount of money you receive will be reduced according to your current income.

There are two types of Jobseekers Allowance: Contribution-based and Income-based. The type of JSA you receive depends on how recently you have paid Class 1 National Insurance contributions. In some cases this may temporarily affect your other benefit entitlements, but the amount of money received is the same.

All JSA counts as taxable income.