Jobseekers' and part time or low paid workers' benefits
You can get support if you’re currently looking for a job or on low pay
Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
JSA is for people of working age who are out of work or work fewer than 16 hours a week on average.
If you qualify, it’s paid while you're looking for work. One type of JSA is paid if you have paid enough National Insurance (NI) contributions.
This is limited to 26 weeks.
When this runs out, or if you haven’t paid enough NI contributions, you may be eligible to claim income based JSA. This depends on your income and savings and (for couples) your partner’s income and savings.
Universal Credit for jobseekers
If you're a new jobseeker, you'll need to claim Universal Credit (UC) instead of JSA if:
- you're single
- you're not excluded from claiming UC
- you're already on UC and have just moved to Bristol
Find out more on our Universal Credit page.
If Jobcentre Plus decide you haven't met the conditions of your jobseeker’s agreement (claimant commitment) you may be sanctioned.
This means your Jobseeker’s Allowance won't be paid for a specified length of time. It's important to carry on meeting the jobseeking conditions while you're sanctioned, otherwise your claim will be closed.
If you had a good reason for what you did, you should tell Jobcentre Plus what this was. If your benefit is sanctioned, you may be eligible for a hardship payment.
For more information about what you can do to avoid a sanction, or ask for the decision to be looked at again, see our factsheet (pdf, 328k) (opens new window) .
Lone parents can claim Income Support if they have a child under five years old.
You may also be able to claim Income Support if you're pregnant or have recently given birth.
Carers may be able to claim Income Support to top up their Carer's Allowance.
Whether you're entitled to Income Support depends on your income and savings and (for couples) your partner’s income and savings.