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Benefits for people looking for work

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is a benefit for people who are unemployed but capable of work. To get Jobseeker's Allowance you also have to meet several other conditions, which include showing that you are looking for work.

You may be able to claim Income Support or other benefits rather than Jobseeker's Allowance if you do not have to be available for work under benefit law. This may be because you are sick or disabled, you look after a disabled person, or you are a lone parent in certain circumstances. If you do not have to be available for work, you will not have to sign on or look for a job.

To find out more about Income Support and other help for people on a low income, see Help for people on a low income – Income Support.

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The two types of Jobseeker's Allowance

There are two types of Jobseeker’s Allowance, contribution-based (non-means-tested) Jobseeker's Allowance and income-based (means-tested). Jobseeker's Allowance. When you apply for Jobseeker's Allowance, the Jobcentre Plus office will work out which type you should be paid. You may get contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance on its own, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance on its own, or a mixture of contribution-based and income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.

Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

Whether you get contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance will depend on your national insurance contributions. If you have been working and paying national insurance contributions within the last couple of years, you may qualify.

For more information about national insurance contributions, see National insurance – contributions and benefits.

Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance is not affected by any savings you have. However, if you have part-time earnings or an occupational or personal pension, this may affect how much contribution-based JSA you get. For example, the amount of contribution-based JSA that you get is cut pound for pound for any occupational pension that is over £50 a week. If you earn too much, you will not get contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance at all.

You only get contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance for yourself, so you do not get an amount for your partner if you are claiming as a member of a couple. However, you may get income-based Jobseeker's Allowance on top of your contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance if you have a partner, or because of your personal circumstances - for example, if you are disabled or caring for a disabled person or have to pay a mortgage.

Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance is paid for a maximum of 182 days (approximately six months). After that, you may get income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, depending on your income and savings.

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

You may get income-based Jobseeker's Allowance if you do not have enough national insurance contributions to get contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance. You can also get it on top of contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance because you have a partner, or because of other personal circumstances -for example, if you are disabled or caring for a disabled person or have housing costs. Whether you can get income-based Jobseeker's Allowance depends on the amount of your income and capital. The rules about income and capital are the same as for Income Support.

For more information about income and capital rules for Income Support, see Help for people on a low income – Income Support.

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Who can get Jobseeker’s Allowance

Your age

You can usually only claim Jobseeker’s Allowance if you are aged 18 or over. You must also be under state pension age. If you are a man under 65 but over the state pension age for a woman of your age, you can choose to claim Pension Credit instead of Jobseeker's Allowance, without having to sign on as unemployed.

You can work out the exact date of your state pension age by using the state pension age calculator on the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.

If you are over pension age, you may be able to claim Pension Credit instead.

For more information about Pension Credit, see Benefits for older people.

If you are unemployed and under 18, and not in full-time education, you may be able to claim Jobseeker's Allowance. To find out, you should consult an experienced adviser - for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

You are resident in the UK

You must be living in the UK to claim Jobseeker's Allowance. If you are from overseas or have recently come to live in the UK you may have difficulty claiming the benefit, depending on your immigration status. If you are an EEA national you must show that you have a right to reside and are habitually resident in order to claim income-based jobseeker's allowance. If you have recently arrived in the UK as a jobseeker you will normally have to live here for three months before you will be accepted as habitually resident. Even if you are a British citizen, but you have been living or working abroad, you may have to wait for three months before you can claim income-based jobseeker's allowance when you come back to the UK.

What is the habitual residence test

EEA nationals - claiming benefits as a jobseeker

If you are not sure about your right to claim benefit, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Not in education or studying

You cannot get Jobseeker's Allowance if you are in education at school or a similar level. Most students cannot get Jobseeker's Allowance, but if you are a part-time student, you may be able to get it.

If you are a part-time student and you want to claim Jobseeker's Allowance, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Not working or working less than 16 hours a week

To claim Jobseeker's Allowance, you must either not be working at all, or working less than 16 hours a week. If you are living with a partner and claiming income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, your partner must either not be working or working less than 24 hours a week. If you or your partner are working 16 hours or more, you may be able to get Working Tax Credit instead.

If you are working under 16 hours, or your partner is working under 24 hours, the amount of Jobseeker's Allowance you can get will depend on your earnings. If you earn too much, you will not be able to get contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance. You will also have to look for a full-time job as part of the conditions of getting Jobseeker's Allowance. Your partner may have to look for full-time work as well.

For more information on Working Tax Credit, see Benefits and tax credits for people in work.

If you are working part time and want to know whether you can claim Jobseeker's Allowance, you should consult an experienced adviser - for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Your income and capital

The rules about income and capital are different for contributory Jobseeker's Allowance and for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.

For more information on income and capital for contributory Jobseeker's Allowance, see Contributory-based Jobseeker's Allowance – amounts.

The rules for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance are the same as for Income Support.

For more information on income and capital for Income Support, see Help for people on a low income – Income Support.

Capable of work

You must be capable of work to get Jobseeker's Allowance. If you are too ill to work, you may be able to get Employment and Support Allowance or other benefits for people who are sick or disabled.

For more information on which benefits you could claim, see Benefits for people who are sick or disabled.

Job seeking conditions

To get Jobseeker's Allowance, you have to show that you meet certain conditions about looking for work. You have to actively seek work, be available for work and have a current Jobseeker’s Agreement or Claimant Commitment with the Jobcentre Plus office. In Northern Ireland, this is with the Social Security Agency. A Jobseeker’s Agreement is a document which says what you have agreed to do to find work. A Claimant Commitment is a new kind of Jobseeker’s Agreement that aims to set out more clearly what you have to do to find work. You will have to sign on at the Jobcentre Plus office at least every two weeks so that they can check whether you meet these conditions and see if you need any extra help to find work. You can be called into the Jobcentre Plus office at any time and if they think that you are not keeping to your Jobseeker’s Agreement or Claimant Commitment, your benefit may be cut or stopped, (see under Jobseeker's Allowance and sanctions).

In some cases, Jobcentre Plus has to treat you as if you've signed a jobseeker's agreement or Claimant Commitment. This means you could get JSA even if you're not able to look for work for a period of time. This may apply to you, for example, if you have experienced domestic violence.

If you are one of a couple who live together (and you do not have a dependent child) both you and your partner usually have to meet the job seeking conditions to get income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance. This means you will both have to sign on and look for work.

If you are a member of a couple and you want to know whether you both have to sign on, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

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Available for work and actively seeking work

Available for work

You must be available for work to get Jobseeker's Allowance. This means that you must usually be able to start a job immediately. However, this is different if you look after someone or are doing voluntary work for a non-profit organisation. If you have caring responsibilities or are doing voluntary work, you have to be available to start a job with one week’s notice but you must be available for a job interview within 48 hours’ notice. These times are longer if you're responsible for the care of a child under 16.

In some cases, Jobcentre Plus has to treat you as if you're available for work. This means you could get JSA even if you're not able to start work straightaway. This may apply to you, for example, if you have experienced domestic violence, or in some cases where a domestic emergency such as homelessness affects you, your close relative or your close friend.

If you have a medical condition, you may be able to restrict yourself to particular types of jobs or jobs where you only have to work certain hours. You will have to provide medical evidence to allow you to restrict your availability for work like this. However, if your medical condition or a disability means it would be very difficult for you to find suitable work, you may not be able to get Jobseeker's Allowance and have to claim other benefits instead.

For more information about benefits if you are sick or disabled, see Benefits for people who are sick or disabled.

If you're responsible for a child under 16, you may be able to restrict your availability for work. You may be able to restrict your availability so that you're only available to work 16 hours a week. If your child is under 13, you may also be able to restrict your availability so that you're only available to work during your child's normal school hours.

During school holidays and if your child is excluded from school you may be allowed to claim Jobseeker's Allowance. You may be able to do this even though you aren't available for work because of your childcare responsibilities. But you'll need to show that it's not reasonable for you to make other childcare arrangements. For example, this might be because there's no suitable childcare available in your area, or because it's too expensive.

If you are claiming income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance as one of a couple, you may both have to be available for work (see under Job seeking conditions).

For more information on restricting your availability for work and what being available for work means, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Actively seeking work

All the time you are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, you must show that you are actively seeking work. You will have to prove that you have taken reasonable steps to find a job, for example, that you have applied to vacancies, read advertisements, or registered with employment agencies. You should keep a record of all the steps you take to find work, as well as copies of advertisements you reply to and of letters you send and receive about jobs. You will have to attend the Jobcentre Plus office regularly to show that you are still taking steps to find work.

In some cases, Jobcentre Plus has to treat you as if you're actively seeking work. This means you could get JSA even if you're not able to look for work for a period of time. This may apply to you, for example, if you have experienced domestic violence, or in some cases where a domestic emergency such as homelessness affects you, your close relative or your close friend.

While you are on JSA, you can be treated as actively seeking work while on holiday for up to two weeks a year. You must usually be still in Great Britain and you must be able to receive information about job offers while you are away. Therefore, it's important to tell the Jobcentre Plus office where you are going. You should also check when you need to sign on when you get home.

If you continue to be unemployed, you will have more in-depth interviews with the Jobcentre Plus office, who may refer you to specific employers or make you broaden the range of jobs you are looking for. Once you have been unemployed for a few months, you will probably have to take part in a compulsory employment scheme such as the Work Programme, which can involve work experience or training.

If you are claiming income-based Jobseeker's Allowance as one of a couple, you may both have to actively seek work (see under Job seeking conditions).

For more information about compulsory schemes for unemployed people in England, Wales and Scotland see Government employment schemes.

For more information about what actively seeking work means, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

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How much Jobseeker's Allowance can you get

Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance - amounts

If you are getting contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, you will get the following amounts each week. However, the amount you get may be reduced if you have income from part-time earnings or an occupational or personal pension scheme. Depending on your circumstances and your income, you may be entitled to some income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance as well (see under Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance).

AgeFrom 8 April 2013From 7 April 2014
Aged under 25£56.80£57.35
Aged 25 or over£71.70£72.40

Your income from part-time earnings or occupational or personal pension payments will only reduce your Jobseeker's Allowance after part of it has been disregarded, so only part of your income from these sources will affect your benefit. However, if the part of your earnings or occupational or personal pension payments which is taken into account is higher than the weekly amount of contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance which applies to you, you will not get any contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance.

Your capital or any other income does not affect your contribution-based Jobseeeker's Allowance.

If you want information about how your part-time earnings or income from an occupational or personal pension will affect contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance - amounts

The amount of income-based Jobseeker's Allowance you are entitled to depends on your income, your capital and your personal circumstances. Your income is compared to a set figure which depends on these circumstances, for example, whether you live with a partner, or whether you are disabled or caring for a disabled person. Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance may include an amount to help with mortgage interest payments and other housing costs if you own your own home.

The amount of income-based Jobseeker's Allowance that you will get, and the rules for calculating how much you are due are the same as for Income Support.

For more information about the amounts of Income Support and the income and capital rules, see Help for people on a low income – Income Support.

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How to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance

You can claim Jobseeker's Allowance online or on the phone. If you try to claim by phone, you are likely to be assessed to see if you could claim online, if necessary, by using a computer belonging to friends, family or another organisation. You may also be offered an appointment to use a computer in a Jobcentre Plus office. If you feel unable to make an online claim, for example, because of language or other problems, you should make this clear and you should be allowed to claim by phone.

You can claim online on the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.

You can claim on the phone by calling Jobcentre Plus:

Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Welsh language line: 0800 012 1888

The telephone lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

In Northern Ireland, you claim Jobseeker's Allowance at a Jobs and Benefits Office or Social Security Office. To find your nearest office, visit the nidirect website at www.nidirect.gov.uk.

If you're having difficulty making a claim for Jobseeker's Allowance, you can get advice from an experienced adviser, for example at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

When you claim Jobseeker's Allowance, you will have to have an interview about why you are unemployed and what sort of job you are seeking. The interview should be held in a place that is accessible to you if you are disabled. If you need an interpreter, one should be provided.

If you are reclaiming Jobseeker's Allowance within 26 weeks of getting it before and there has been no change in your circumstances, you can complete a simpler and shorter ‘Rapid Reclaim’ form instead. This would be the case if you have taken a job or increased your hours but it has not worked out and you need to go back on benefit.

When you claim, you will have to provide your national insurance number. You will normally also have to give the national insurance number of any partner who lives with you. If you do not know your national insurance number, but you think you have one, try to provide information that will help the office find your number. If you do not have a national insurance number at all, you will have to apply for one. To show that your number belongs to you, or to apply for a number, you will also have to provide evidence of your identity, for example, a birth certificate.

You will have to provide other evidence as part of your Jobseeker's Allowance claim, for example, evidence of your income. If you don't have this available straight away, you can supply it afterwards, but it is important to do so within one month of your claim to get all the money due to you.

If you have problems providing a national insurance number or any of the other evidence you are asked for, or if you would like help with making your Jobseeker's Allowance claim, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Getting Jobseeker’s Allowance backdated

You may be able to get some Jobseeker's Allowance for a period before you make your claim if you could have claimed earlier and have reasons for claiming late. These have to be particular reasons laid down in law which are accepted by the Jobcentre Plus office, for example, you have language difficulties, or you were given wrong advice which made you think you wouldn’t get any money. Getting benefit for a period before you claim is called ‘backdating’. You will not get any backdated benefit just because you did not know that you could make a claim.

If you do have one of the accepted reasons for backdating your claim, your Jobseeker's Allowance may be backdated by up to a maximum of one or three months depending on the reason you failed to claim earlier. You will have to show that you met the entitlement conditions throughout the period of backdating, including being available for and actively seeking work. You should explain that you are claiming backdated Jobseeker's Allowance, and why, on your claim form.

If you want to claim backdated Jobseeker's Allowance, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

Civil penalties for causing an overpayment

In some cases, you may have to pay a civil penalty if you do something which causes an overpayment. This can happen if, for example, you give wrong information or you keep quiet about something, and as a result you get more Jobseeker's Allowance than you're supposed to be getting. You can only be asked to pay this penalty if you haven't committed fraud. If you have committed fraud, different rules apply.

You can appeal against a decision to impose a civil penalty.

Checks on Jobseeker's Allowance and fraud

You may commit a benefit or tax credit fraud if you deliberately give incorrect or misleading information, or fail to report a change of circumstances. Even if you are not committing fraud, you can cause an overpayment which will have to be repaid. Your circumstances can be checked at any time while you are claiming and fraud officers can also get information about you from other government agencies and from your employer, bank or utility companies. Benefit fraud is a criminal offence and you can be prosecuted or asked to pay a penalty. If you are being investigated for benefit fraud, your benefit will be suspended. If you are convicted of benefit fraud more than once, your benefit can be reduced or stopped in the future.

For more information on what to do if you are asked to attend an interview under caution, see Problems with benefits and tax credits.

If you are worried about whether you might be suspected of fraud, you are under investigation or you have been convicted, or if you have been asked to repay an overpayment of benefit, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens’ Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

If you are ill when you are getting Jobseeker's Allowance

If you are too ill to sign on or meet the other job seeking conditions  while you are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, you should let the Jobcentre Plus office know as soon as possible. You can be ill for up to two weeks and still get the benefit. Also, you can be ill twice while you're unemployed and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance without it affecting your entitlement.

If you are unemployed for more than a year, you can be ill up to two times in each 12 month period that you're not working without it affecting your entitlement to the benefit.

If you are ill for longer than two weeks or more than twice during the year, you will no longer be able to get Jobseeker's Allowance. You will have to claim a benefit for sickness or disability instead. If you get better and become capable of meeting the job seeking conditions at a later date, you can make a new claim for Jobseeker's Allowance.

For more information about benefits if you are sick or disabled, see Benefits for people who are sick or disabled.

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Compulsory steps to find work - Jobseeker’s directions

While you are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, the officer you see at the Jobcentre Plus office may make suggestions about things you could do to increase your chances of finding work. If you fail to take these steps, you may be given a jobseeker’s direction. This is a formal instruction for you to take certain action to help you find work, for example, attending a particular course, registering with the Universal Jobmatch service or with an employment agency, responding to a particular advertisement or taking part in a 'back to work session'.

More on government schemes that can help you find work.

If you do not follow the jobseeker’s direction and do not have a good reason, you will be sanctioned, see under the heading Jobseeker's Allowance and sanctions. The jobseeker's direction must be reasonable, taking your circumstances into account. You shouldn't be sanctioned if you can show you had a good reason for not following a particular direction, for example if you were taken seriously ill, so that you were unable to do what they asked.

If your Jobseeker's Allowance is stopped because of a jobseeker’s direction, you may be able to claim a hardship payment. This is a reduced amount of the allowance (see under Hardship payments and Jobseeker's Allowance).

For more information about jobseeker’s directions and what is a good reason for refusing to follow one, or for more information about hardship payments, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

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Jobseeker's Allowance and sanctions

Jobcentre Plus can sanction you for some kinds of misconduct, for example if you fail to take part in the Work Programme. A sanction normally means Jobcentre Plus stops your JSA for a certain period, although in some cases they can reduce it instead. In most cases, Jobcentre Plus cannot sanction you if you have a good reason for your behaviour.

In Northern Ireland, there are different rules about sanctions. For more information, see Jobseeker's Allowance and sanctions in Northern Ireland.

Sanctions normally lasts for a fixed period of 4, 13, or 26 weeks, or 3 years, depending on your misconduct. It also depends on whether it is the first, second or third time you behaved in that way.

There are three different types of sanctions:

Lower level sanctions - normally last 4 or 13 weeks. Jobcentre Plus will usually impose this sanction if you:

  • fail to take part in an interview
  • in some cases, fail to provide information
  • refuse or fail to carry out a jobseeker's direction, but only if the direction was reasonable, taking your circumstances into account
  • in most cases, fail to take part in a work for your benefit scheme such as the Work Programme. However, if you fail to take part in the Mandatory Work Activity scheme, Jobcentre Plus will impose a higher level sanction on you instead
  • are guilty of some kinds of misconduct on employment schemes and training programmes.

Intermediate level sanctions - also normally last 4 or 13 weeks. Jobcentre Plus will usually impose this sanction on you for not being available for work or not actively seek work.

Higher level sanctions - normally last 13 or 26 weeks or 3 years. Jobcentre Plus will usually impose this sanction for:

  • misconduct to do with work, for example, leaving your job voluntarily
  • misconduct to do with job vacancies, for example, refusing to apply for a job that Jobcentre Plus have pointed out to you
  • failing to take part in the Mandatory Work Activity scheme.

If you are 16 or 17, there are special rules about when Jobcentre Plus can sanction you.

For more information about work for your benefit schemes in England, Wales and Scotland, including the Work Programme, see Government employment schemes.

If your Jobseeker's Allowance is stopped because of a sanction, you may be able to apply for a hardship payment (see under Hardship payments and Jobseeker's Allowance).

Challenging a sanction

If you have been sanctioned and you think the decision is unfair, you can challenge it.

In most cases, Jobcentre Plus can't sanction you if you had a good reason for your behaviour. For example, you didn't apply for a job they pointed out to you, but this was because it is too far away for you to travel. This would usually have to be further than an hour and a half each way.

They also can't sanction you if you don't meet the conditions for a sanction. For example, you didn't actually do what Jobcentre Plus says you did.

You will have to make these points when you ask Jobcentre Plus to look at your decision again or when you appeal – see under the heading Problems with Jobseeker's Allowance.

In Northern Ireland, there are different rules about sanctions and how you can challenge them. For more information, see Jobseeker's Allowance and sanctions in Northern Ireland.

If you think a sanction decision is wrong, you should consult an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

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Hardship payments and Jobseeker's Allowance

A hardship payment is a reduced amount of Jobseeker's Allowance which you may be able to get if you have been refused Jobseeker's Allowance, or your benefit has been stopped, because of doubts about whether you are available for and actively seeking work. You may also be able to get them if:

  • you are waiting for the Jobcentre Plus office to decide whether you meet the jobseeking conditions
  • you have been sanctioned (see under Jobseeker's Allowance and sanctions)
  • your JSA has been stopped for a fixed period following a benefit fraud offence.

If you want more information about hardship payments, and how to apply for them, you should ask in the Jobcentre Plus office for form JSA 10, 'Jobseeker's allowance hardship application'.

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How Jobseeker's Allowance is paid

Jobseeker's Allowance is usually paid directly into your bank, building society or Post Office card account. If you have difficulty opening or managing a suitable account, payment will be made by Simple Payment. You will be issued with a Simple Payment card which you can use to collect payment at a PayPoint outlet displaying the Simple Payment sign.

For more information on how benefits are paid, see Payment of benefits and tax credits.

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Problems with Jobseeker’s Allowance

If you have been refused Jobseeker's Allowance and you think you should get it, or if you think the amount you have been awarded is wrong, you can challenge the decision. You should do this within one month of the decision.

If you unhappy with the service you have received, you can complain. You can do this whether or not you are also challenging a Jobseeker's Allowance decision.

For more information about challenging a decision, inclduing appealing against a JSA decision or sanction, see Problems with benefits and tax credits.

Discrimination

It's against the law for you to be treated unfairly because of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or childbirth, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation when benefits or tax credits are paid to you. Also, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and most local authorities have policies which say they will not discriminate against you because of other things, for example, if you have caring responsibilities. If you feel that you've been discriminated against when you are paid benefits or tax credits, you can make a complaint about this.

For more about discrimination, see our Discrimination pages.

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Information in other languages

In England, Wales and Scotland, if you need information about Jobseeker's Allowance in other languages, you can go to your local Jobcentre Plus office. They can provide interpreting and translation services. You can find your nearest Jobcentre Plus on the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk.

In Northern Ireland, information in other languages can be found on the nidirect website at www.nidirect.gov.uk.

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Other benefits while you are on Jobseeker’s Allowance

If you are getting Jobseeker’s Allowance, you may be able to get other benefits or help with other costs. If you are on income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, you will be able to get maximum Housing Benefit (to help with rent) and you should be able to get some Council Tax Reduction (which reduces your Council Tax bill). However, you may not be able to claim Housing Benefit if you are an EEA national claiming income-based jobseeker's allowance as a jobseeker. You will also be entitled to other help, for example, free prescriptions, free school meals for your children, and help with the costs of a new-born baby. If you are on contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, you may be entitled to some of these benefits and help, depending on your income.

For more information on Adviceguide about other benefits while you are on income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or on a low income, see What benefits can I get?

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