How much can I earn before my jobseekers allowance is affected? Benefits

Jobseeker’s allowance (also known as JSA) is a form of welfare support designed to support individuals while they find a job. At present, there are three variations of jobseeker’s allowance. These are:

  • Contribution-based JSA
  • Income based JSA
  • ‘New Style’ JSA

If you are currently claiming for any of the above, you may be wondering if you can work while you are claiming. And if so, how much can you earn, and how many hours can you work?

How much can I earn before my jobseekers allowance is affected?

You are likely to be able to claim JSA if you meet the following conditions:

  • You work less than 16 hours per week
  • You are available to work full time
  • You are actively looking for full-time work
  • You aren’t in full-time education
  • You do not claim Income Support
  • You don’t have an illness or disability that prevents you from working

Jobseeker’s allowance is one of 4 benefits that can be affected by how many hours of paid work you (or your partner if you make a joint claim) do per week. This also includes:

  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Employment and Support Allowance

For Jobseeker’s Allowance, if you work more than 16 hours per week, you are classed as working full time.

If you are working less than 16 hours per week, then you may still be able to continue to claim, however how much you get can be affected by how much you earn.

How to report a change of circumstances

If you are currently claiming jobseeker’s allowance and your circumstances change, then you must report this to the Jobcentre Plus. For example, if you begin working or your income changes, these adjustments must be communicated to the Jobcentre and changes will be made to how much you get.

If you don’t report a change right away, your claim may be stopped or reduced. You may also be at risk of a £50 penalty.

Changes to circumstances you must report include:

  • Starting (or stopping) work, education, training or an apprenticeship
  • Changing address
  • Changing your name
  • Changes to who live at your address
  • Changes to the benefits you (or anyone else in your house) claims
  • Changes to your pension, savings, investments or properties
  • Changes to money you get from student loans, grants, sick pay, charitable donations, etc.
  • Changes to your medical condition or disability
  • If you go into hospital, a care home, or sheltered accommodation
  • If you plan to go abroad for any length of time
  • Do you need help with benefits or welfare support?

If you are wondering how much you can work, or how much you can earn, before your jobseeker’s allowance claim is affected, then give us a call. We work closely with residents across Stafford & South Staffordshire to help them understand their finances and benefits.

At either one of our Drop In Sessions or over the phone, one of our Advocates can advise where you stand on working and claiming JSA. To request a callback, fill in the form below or give us a call on 01902 696 228.