Due to coronavirus, an estimated 1.3 million workers are out of a job in the UK. The Jobs Retention Scheme, the central pillar of the Government’s attempt to mitigate job losses and businesses going bust is working well, softening the economic blow of the crisis significantly.
Numbers of those claiming benefits has shot up significantly since the crisis began, with young people disproportionately put out of work, whether they have been put on furlough or laid off.
Lengthy periods out of work can have permanent impacts on somebody’s future job prospects, quality of life, mental health and productivity.
Job Seekers Allowance is a short term Government intervention benefit – designed to support you while you look for a new job, or if your current job gives you a low amount of hours.
However, it’s not much – if you are 18 to 24, you get £58.90 a week; those 25 and over get £74.35; and if you claim as a couple you get £116.80 a week to share between you.
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Am I eligible?
If you work less than 16 hours a week, or are unemployed, you can get Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The allowance is a fortnightly payment straight into your bank account.
Jobseeker’s Allowance is a contribution-based benefit – which means to get it you must have been paid or credited with enough National Insurance contributions for the last two tax years.
You must also show you’ve been looking for work between making your claim and going to your interview, however, due to COVID-19, face-to-face benefits appointments are not running currently.
You’ll also need to show you’re looking for work to keep getting payments.
You can also claim Jobseeker’s Allowance if you are on Universal Credit, although this depends on your National Insurance record.
You can only claim the benefit for up to 182 days.
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Does Jobseeker’s Allowance effect other benefits?
Your savings and capital, or your partner’s savings, capital and income, are not taken into account when claiming New Style JSA.
However, your earnings and any payment you are getting from a pension can affect the amount you may receive.
While you receive New Style JSA you’ll be awarded Class One National Insurance credits.
These crucially count towards your State Pension and other contributory benefits in the future.
You can also apply if you have more than £16,000 in savings – you just can’t get Universal Credit with it.
How do I apply?
You can apply for JSA online on the Government’s website or you can call Job Centre Plus on 0800 055 6688.
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