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Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

Jobseeker’s Allowance is the social security benefit for people who are unemployed or who are working for less than 16 hours per week. To qualify for JSA a jobseeker must be capable of work, available for work, actively seeking work, and must enter into a “Jobseeker’s Agreement” which sets out the steps he will take in order to find work. Jobseekers who have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions can receive contribution-based JSA at a personal rate for up to six months. Those who do not qualify for contribution-based JSA, or whose needs are not met by the contribution-based allowance, can claim income-based JSA for themselves and their dependants subject to a means test. Income-based JSA is paid for as long as needed, provided that the qualifying conditions continue to be met.

Schedules 7 and 8 Part V make particular changes to the rules for JSA.

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