Page created: 3rd June 2021

'New Style’ Jobseekers Allowance (‘New Style’ JSA)

With the introduction of Universal Credit to the UK welfare benefits system, new claims for income-related (Legacy) benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), are no longer allowed.

Instead, you could be eligible to apply for ‘New Style’ Jobseekers Allowance.

Initial Eligibility

‘New Style’ JSA is paid based on your previous class 1 or 2 National Insurance contributions over the last 2-3 years. Therefore, you will need to have been previously employed or self-employed and paid (or been credited with) enough National Insurance contributions to be eligible.

To check if you have made enough National Insurance contributions to be eligible, you can follow this web link to find out:

Because ‘New Style’ JSA is contribution-based, yours, or your partners, savings, earnings, and capitals, will not be considered for eligibility. As Universal Credit is not available on a contribution-basis, ‘New Style’ JSA might be more suitable.

NB: You can claim ‘New Style’ JSA and Universal Credit at the same time, but whatever you receive for ‘New Style’ JSA will be deducted from your Universal Credit monthly payment, pound for pound.

‘New Style’ JSA is a working age UK welfare benefit, so it is generally open to claimants between the ages of 18 to State Pension Age. If you have a partner, you will need to make a joint claim with at least one of you being 18 years of age.

Important Information

Although ‘New Style’ JSA is contribution-based, the rules are essentially the same as income-related Jobseekers Allowance. There are, of course, a few differences.

Unlike income-related JSA, you can only be paid ‘New Style’ JSA for a maximum of 182-days. After this, you will need to move on to Universal Credit entirely.

Under ‘New Style’ JSA, you cannot already have a Limited Capability for Work (WCA). This is because you will need to have a current jobseeking agreement with the DWP which satisfies your ‘jobseeking conditions’. These conditions are as follows:

  • Be available for work each week.
  • Be actively seeking work each week.

You will need to be fit for work and able to seek work for each week you are paid ‘New Style’ JSA – this is what is called your ‘jobseeking period’. This will be discussed and checked with your relevant Jobcentre Plus work coach.

If you fail in your responsibilities under your jobseeking agreement, you can be sanctioned. If at any time this becomes an issue for you, you can appeal sanctions. Call the Disability Law Service to get advice on how you can appeal any sanctions you may be facing on 0207 791 9800 (option 5)

Also, generally, you cannot be a full-time student and receive ‘New Style’ JSA, as this too would interfere with your jobseekers agreement.

You can work and receive ‘New Style’ JSA at the same time, but you cannot work full-time – working less than 16-hours per week.

Rates of Pay

‘New Style’ JSA is paid weekly and the rate that you receive will be based on whether you are under 25, or 25 and over:

  • Under 25 - £59.20.
  • 25 and over - £74.70.


New applications for ‘New Style’ Jobseekers Allowance can be made online by following this web link to the Gov.UK webpage:

Alternatively, if you need other forms of accessibility for applying for ‘New Style’ JSA, you can contact the Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688, or, you can follow this web link to the Gov.UK Contact the Jobcentre Plus webpage:

Applications for ‘New Style’ JSA is open to resident in England, Scotland, and Wales. You will need to have the right to live and work in the UK.

For claimants living in Northern Ireland, to find out more information on how to apply for ‘New Style’ JSA, please follow this web link:

Glossary of terms:

ESA – Employment and Support Allowance.

NSJSA – ‘New Style’ Jobseekers Allowance.

WCA – Work Capability Assessment.

Useful links:

Contact Jobcentre Plus

Check NI contributions:

Webpages for NSJSA:

England, Scotland, and Wales

Northern Ireland

Universal Credit: