You can get support if you're currently looking for a job or on low pay
Universal Credit for jobseekers
If you are looking for work or in low paid work, you might be entitled to Universal Credit.
Use our benefits calculator Go to https://bristol.entitledto.co.uk/home/start (opens new window)to see whether you qualify.
Find out more on our Universal Credit page.
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.
Most people can't make a new claim for JSA and need to claim Universal Credit instead.
If you already receive JSA you will carry on getting it but if your circumstances change, you might have to claim Universal Credit instead. The Government will soon start to move people in Bristol who receive JSA onto Universal Credit.
'New style' JSA
You can make a new claim for new style JSA if you have paid enough National Insurance (NI) contributions. This is limited to 26 weeks.
Find out more about 'new style' JSA on Gov.uk.
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 or Universal Credit 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 pdf factsheet (327 KB) .
You can no longer make a new claim for Income Support.
If you already receive Income Support you will carry on getting it but if your circumstances change, you might have to claim Universal Credit instead. The Government will start to move people in Bristol who receive Income Support onto Universal Credit.