Can you claim Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in a Universal Credit Full Service Area? Yes you can (possibly!)
Out of work and living in a Universal Credit Full Service Area, which benefit should you be claiming?
Understandably, most people will immediately think they can only claim Universal Credit, I mean that's what the press, the internet and most of Facebook would have you believe, so it must be the only choice - Right?
Well, no it's not entirely right, it is still possible under certain circumstances to still claim Job Seekers Allowance in Universal Credit Full Service Area's.
Yes, that's right, you can still claim JSA! There are some conditions to who can claim it, as we will see in a moment, however JSA is still alive and kicking.
If you are going to rush off to the pub and tell all your friends that they could have claimed JSA, be prepared for people to look at you like you have two heads.
People believe what they read and what they are told by friends of friends who know somebody who is a mate of the bloke who works in the job centre, and currently most people have been told by the "experts" that JSA is dead and buried.
The existence of "New Style JSA" or "New Style Contribution Based JSA" appears to have been largely over looked by the press, media and Facebook and as such most people will tell you JSA doesn't exist anymore if you live one of the dreaded UC areas.
As with all things in the world of benefits, you can't just rock up and say you want New Style JSA instead of UC. Its not complicated to work out whether you can apply for it, but you will need the facts before you try to apply for it.
Why do you need the facts? well, a bit like New Style ESA, its an alarming fact that not all DWP and Council staff are aware of, or remember that New Style JSA exists and they are not particularly good at advising people that it may be an option for them. It seems that it's not just the bar room pundits that believe JSA is dead.
Let's take a look at how New Style JSA works in more detail.
You may be able to get new style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if you live in a Universal Credit Full Service Area
You may also be able to get new style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if you live anywhere else and are:
You will need to have paid or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions.
You can get new style JSA for up to 182 days. After this your work coach will talk to you about your options.
You can get new style JSA on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit.
If you claim both benefits any new style JSA you are entitled to will be deducted from your Universal Credit payment.
Differences between new style JSA and Universal Credit
The differences between new style JSA and Universal Credit are:
Payment of new style JSA
New style JSA is paid at the end of every 2 weeks into your bank, building society or credit union account.
What you’ll get
Age Weekly rate
Up to 24 years up to £57.90
25 and over up to £73.10
If you get new style JSA, you will get Class 1 National Insurance credits. These count towards your State Pension and some other benefits.
In some circumstances you may only get these credits and no money. This is known as a ‘credits only’ claim.
How to claim new style Jobseeker’s Allowance
The way you claim new style JSA depends on where you live.
If you live in a Universal Credit Full Service you will need to make your claim to new style JSA online.
If you can’t claim online call:
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
If you don’t live in a Universal Credit full service area, you can claim new style JSA by calling:
Telephone: 0800 328 9344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
It's alive! JSA isn't dead!
So JSA isn't dead and buried, it is very much alive and kicking. It has an important part to play in providing unemployment benefit to those people that do not fit the Universal Credit eligibility criteria or where a person will be better off claiming New Style JSA instead of Universal Credit for example;
The BASE adviser team will be happy to answer any questions you have on this matter or any other benefits questions that you need help and support with.
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