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Jobseeker's Allowance

What is it?

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is a benefit for people who are unemployed, who are available to take up full-time work immediately and are actively seeking work.

It is a single allowance with 2 routes of entitlement:

  • Contribution based JSA(Cont)
  • Income based JSA(IB)

JSA(Cont) and JSA(IB)

Entitlement to JSA(Cont) is based on your National Insurance record.

JSA(IB) is an income-based benefit paid to you if you are not entitled to JSA(Cont), your entitlement to JSA(Cont) has been exhausted or your requirements exceed the amount of JSA(Cont) to which they are entitled.

Basic qualifying conditions


To qualify for JSA(Cont) you must satisfy several conditions

You must:

  • be available for work
  • be actively seeking work
  • be capable of work
  • enter into a Jobseeker's Agreement which remains in force
  • be under state pension age
  • be in the Isle of Man

You must not be in:

full time education (guided learning of 16 hours or more a week)

You must be ordinarily resident in the Isle of Man.

National Insurance contribution conditions

First contribution condition

The first contribution condition is satisfied if, in either of the previous 2 tax years before the claim is made, the customer has actually paid Class 1 contributions or share fisherman's/volunteer development worker's Class 2 contributions on earnings at the lower earnings limit for at least 26 weeks during that tax year.

Second contribution condition

The second contribution condition is satisfied if he has paid and/or been credited with Class 1 contributions of not less than 50 times the lower earnings limit in both the last 2 complete tax years before the benefit year in which the jobseeking period begins.


JSA(IB) is subject to the same labour market conditions as JSA(Cont), however, the customer does not have to satisfy the contribution conditions. The maximum amount of JSA(IB) which can be awarded is known as the applicable amount. This is reduced by any reckonable income the person, partner and/or dependants receive.

The applicable amount is made up of the following elements:

  • Personal allowances: This amount is to go towards normal day to day living expenses such as food, clothing, heating and lighting
  • Premiums: This amount is to go towards expenses that are likely to be higher than normal
  • Housing costs: This amount is to go towards rent, rates, service charges or mortgage interest

For more details on this you can download the appropriate section of the Benefits and Contributions Guide (see downloadable documents).

Joint claims

For more details on this you can download the appropriate section of the Benefits and Contributions Guide (see downloadable documents).

Persons aged 16/17 years

In general 16/17 year olds are only entitled to JSA(IB) if they are in a vulnerable group, for example lone parents and people with disabilities. However, certain young persons are entitled to claim JSA(IB) if they would be at risk of suffering severe hardship.

How much could I get and how am I paid?

Please see Benefits Rates for further details.

You can be paid fortnightly by cheque which you cash at a Post Office.

JSA(Cont) may be paid for a maximum period of 6 months. There is no limit to the period to which JSA(IB) may be paid.

How and when should I apply?

You should claim as soon you think you qualify by calling into:

Jobseeker's Allowance

Ground Floor

Markwell House

Market Street

Douglas IM1 2RZ

Telephone:+44 1624 685126

Email:Send Email

or to the Ramsey district office.

Is there anything else I should know?

For information on sanctions, disallowances, hardship provision and treatment of capital you can download the appropriate section of the Benefits and Contributions Guide (see downloadable documents).

For further information on Jobseeker's Allowance, please see downloadable documents.

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