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Out-of-work benefit claimed (IS/JSA/ESA)

Please note: In most cases, you will need to claim Universal Credit instead of one of these benefits. You may also need to claim Universal Credit if you experience a change in circumstances.

If you tell us you are currently receiving one of these benefits, we will work out how much you should be entitled to. So you can see how moving to Universal Credit could affect your entitlements we will also show what you might be entitled to under Universal Credit on the results page.

This guide remains for people who are still claiming out of work benefits under the old benefits system.


If you have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions you may be receiving contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance or contributory Employment and Support Allowance. We'll ask about this separately. Even if you get contributory benefits you may also have entitlement to a means-tested benefit top-up.


Income Support

Income Support (IS) is extra money to help people on a low income. You may be receiving it if:

  • you are a lone parent and responsible for a child under 5
  • you are caring for someone and either you are getting Carer's Allowance, or the person you are looking after gets Attendance Allowance (AA) or constant Attendance Allowance, the middle or highest rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component, or a daily living component of Personal Independence Payment

Before the introduction of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) on 27 October 2008 you could get Income Support if you were sick/disabled and unable to work. There are still some existing claimants remaining on Income Support for this reason.

For more information see our Income Support help page.

Jobseeker's Allowance

You may be receiving Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) if you are unemployed or working part time (less than 16 hours a week) and are available for and actively seeking work. For more information see our Jobseekers Allowance help page

Employment and Support Allowance

You may be receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if your ability to work is limited by ill health or disability. ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit (IB) and Income Support (IS) paid on the grounds of incapacity, for new claims from 27 October 2008. For more information see our Employment and Support Allowance help page.