Job Seeker Allowance Rules

Did you know your job seekers allowance (JSA) may be affected if you don’t follow the ‘rules’?

I have explained the job seeker allowance rules to ensure you don’t end up having your benefits stopped.

Will my partner moving in with me affect my JSA claim?

If you get contribution based JSA then no, your claim won’t be affected and you can continue to claim – Contribution-based JSA is paid for up to 6 months, but only if you paid enough Class 1 National Insurance contributions when you were working. You can get it even if your partner works or if you have savings.

If you are on income based JSA then your partner moving in will affect your claim. 

If your partner is working or has savings over £6000, then your benefits will be reduced. If your partner is working 24 hours a week or more you won’t get any JSA.

You may still qualify for benefits such as Tax Credits or Housing Benefit.

What happens if my advisor has it in for me?

A lot of people don’t get along with their advisor, really they are there to help you so that is exactly what they should be doing. If you believe you are being discriminated against or being treat unfairly then you can make a complaint.

Remember, it is down to you to find a job, not your advisor.

Can I still go on holiday when on JSA?

There a lot of reasons people are out of work but most are tarred with the same brush unfortunately and believe you don’t deserve a holiday.

You are entitled to 2 weeks holiday a year as long as it is in Great Britain. 

You MUST let the job centre know you are going away on holiday and they will probably ask where you are going.

During your holiday you won’t need to sign on, but you will need to be able to receive job information and come home for an interview or start a job at short notice – hence why you can only holiday in GB.

If you plan to holiday abroad while on JSA, the best thing to do is to sign off JSA just before you go. When you get home you can make a new JSA claim. This will cause you to lose a week or two’s benefit, but you risk losing a lot more if you don’t sign off when going abroad.

My JSA hasn’t been paid yet.

It can usually take 2 weeks to set up a new JSA claim so it may take a little while for your first payment to come through. 

If you have been signed on a while but your payment hasn’t came through this week then contact your local job centre who will help you.

If you don’t understand or disagree with why you haven’t been paid yet then you can get advice and support from your local Citizens Advice Bureau. They can contact the Job centre on your behalf and help to get to the bottom of the problem.

Do I need to inform the job centre of any changes?

Yes, tell the job centre of any changes straight away, no matter how small or insignificant you think they may be. You could face being hit with a fine or your benefits stopped if you don’t inform them.


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