What Is New Style Job Seeker’s Allowance? Benefits

With different types of Job Seeker’s allowance currently available, we understand how confusing it can be to navigate. In order to give you the understanding you need to know which one is right for your situation, we’ll be exploring each in more detail. Therefore, in this blog, we’ll be focusing on the New Style Job Seeker’s Allowance and answering some of our most frequently asked questions.

What Is New Style Job Seeker’s Allowance?

New Style Job Seeker’s Allowance is a fortnightly contribution based benefit, intended to help you out financially whilst you’re looking for work. You may be interested in New Style Job Seeker’s Allowance if you are currently unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week.

As a contribution based benefit, this means that you get it depending on whether you have paid or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions in the two full tax years before making a claim. If you qualify, you will be able to claim for up to 182 days after which, your work coach will be available to discuss your options.

Can I Claim Job Seeker’s Allowance If My Partner Works?

One of the reasons that people choose to apply for New Style JSA is because it’s not a means tested benefit. This means that your savings and capital, or your partner’s savings and capital are not taken into account when making a claim for New Style JSA. However, your earnings and any payment you’re getting from a pension will be.

Another benefit of applying for New Style Job Seeker’s Allowance is that you’ll be awarded Class 1 National Insurance Credits which can help towards your state pension and other contributory benefits that you may need in the future.

Am I Eligible?

In order to be eligible for New Style JSA, you will need to:

  • have been working within the last 2-3 years as an employee and have been paying or been credited with Class 1 National Insurance contributions.
  • be either unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week.
  • be over 18 or over (although there can be some exceptions to those aged 16 or 17)
  • be under the State Pension Age
  • not be in full-time education
  • be available for work
  • not have an illness or disability that stops you from working
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales
  • have the right to work in the UK

You will be expected to take reasonable steps to look for work and must still follow the guidance on working safely during coronavirus.

Can I Make a New Style JRS Claim If I Can’t Work Because Of COVID-19?

If you’ve found yourself not being able to work because of the current coronavirus pandemic, there are certain circumstances where you may be able to apply for New Style JRS. If you cannot work but you’re still getting paid by your employer whilst on furlough, the following need to apply for you to be able to claim:

  • You usually work less than 16 hours a week
  • You meet the other eligibility criteria for JSA

If you’re not on furlough but the two points above still apply, you may still be able to claim if you receive a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

How to Apply For New Style JSA?

You can apply for New Style Job Seeker’s Allowance using the government’s online portal. However, you can only do this if you’re over 18 years old. In order to ensure that you have a speedy and easy application process, you should have the following present:

  • National Insurance Number
  • Bank or Building Society Account Details (or those from a trusted friend or family member)
  • Employment Details (for the past six months, with a list of your employer’s contact details and the dates that you worked with them)
  • Private Pension Statement Letter

If you’re looking to reclaim, you will need to apply again, even if none of the above have changed at all.

Can I Apply For Job Seeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit?

You may be wondering whether applying for Job Seeker’s Allowance will have any effect on your Universal Credit. It’s important to understand that it will and you should consider this before applying for the extra benefit. If you qualify for both New Style JSA and Universal Credit, the sum of any New Style JSA received will be considered as income when working out your Universal Credit payments.

Call Building Better Opportunities For Advice on New Style JSA

If you have any further questions or need advice regarding New Style Job Seeker’s Allowance, please contact us. Here at Building Better Opportunities, our friendly and experienced team are dedicated to supporting individuals, couples and families throughout Stafford and South Staffordshire with their finances, employment status and health and wellbeing. To speak to one of our advocates, you can either give us a call or come along to one of our drop-in sessions.

Our blog also has more useful guides on Job Seeker’s Allowance such as ‘Is Job Seeker’s Allowance Means Tested’ and ‘How Much Can I Earn Before My Job Seeker’s Allowance Is Affected?’