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JSA and Universal Credit boost for thousands seeking help through the DWP – Lancs Live

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People in the UK seeking financial help from central government have received a welcome boost.

Currently, if you are out of work or work less than 16 hours a week, you may be able to claim New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). This is paid fortnightly on its own or can be paid through Universal Credit.

It’s a contribution-based benefit, which usually means you might be able to get it if you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions in most of the two full tax years before the year you apply.

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Those who are successful in their applications to the DWP for New Style JSA can claim the benefit for up to 182 days.

After this, your job coach will talk to you about your options. If you are eligible for both New Style JSA and Universal Credit, any New Style JSA you receive will count as income for Universal Credit.

Those looking to claim the benefit have received a welcome boost this month with the DWP shortening the time it takes for someone to contact you after you’ve applied. Now applicants for New Style JSA will be spoken to within 10 days. Before it was 14 days.

It comes at a critical time for households with rising bills and gas and electricity costs showing no time of delay anytime soon. The change in the DWP’s contact system was made on 5 August.

After you have been contacted, you will be booked in for an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus office which you must attend. It will usually be with a job coach from your local Jobcentre Plus office.

You will need to bring some documents with you to the interview, including your P45 (if you have one) and three other identification documents. During the interview you will be asked some questions to confirm your identity and then you will make an agreement on what steps you will take to look for work. This agreement is called a ‘Claiman Commitment’.

Why claim New Style JSA?

Your savings and capital (or your partner’s savings, capital and income) are not taken into account when claiming New Style JSA. However, your income and any payment you receive from a pension can affect the amount you can receive.

While receiving New Style JSA, you will be awarded Class 1 National Insurance credits, which can help towards your State Pension and other contributory benefits in the future. It is a regular fortnightly payment.

Am I eligible?

To get New Style JSA you must normally have worked as an employee in the last 2 to 3 years, and have been paid (or credited with) Class 1 National Insurance contributions.

You must be unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week on average. You must also take reasonable steps to look for work.

If you have an illness or disability that stops you from working you cannot get New Style JSA, but you may be able to get ‘New style’ employment and support allowance.

How to claim

To apply you need your:

  • national insurance number
  • bank or building society account details (or those of a family member or trusted friend)
  • employment details for the past 6 months, including employer contact details and dates you worked with them
  • private pension statement letter

For more information Click here

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