New style Jobseeker's Allowance

Universal Credit is being introduced in Northern Ireland on a phased geographical basis. If you live in an area where Universal Credit is available, you may be entitled to claim new style Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA).


To get new style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) you must be eligible for Universal Credit and have paid or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions.

You can get new style JSA for up to 182 days. After this, your Work Coach will advise you of your options.

New style JSA can be claimed instead of, or as well as, Universal Credit depending on your circumstances.

Differences between new style JSA and Universal Credit

The differences between new style JSA and Universal Credit are:

  • new style JSA is paid to an individual; Universal Credit is a single household payment
  • new style JSA doesn’t take into account any savings you have
  • if you have a partner who is working, their earnings don’t affect your new style JSA payment
  • Universal Credit can include money for your rent or childcare costs; new style JSA doesn’t
  • new style JSA stops if you work 16 hours a week or more; Universal Credit looks at earnings you get, not the number of hours you work
  • new style JSA is paid fortnightly and Universal Credit is paid twice a month


New style JSA is paid fortnightly in arrears into your bank, building society or credit union account.

What you’ll get

Age Weekly rate
18 to 24 year olds Up to £57.90
25 and over Up to £73.10

If you claim both new style JSA and Universal Credit, your new style JSA payment will be deducted from your Universal Credit payment.

If you get new style JSA, you will get class 1 National Insurance credits. In some circumstances you may only get these credits and no money. This is known as a ‘credits only’ claim.

How to claim

To claim new style JSA, you should contact your local Jobs & Benefit office or Social Security Office.

If Universal Credit has not been introduced in your area, you cannot make a claim for new style JSA. You may want to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance instead.

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