Contribution-based benefits

Contribution based benefits

Although means tested, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) have been replaced by Universal Credit, you might be entitled to the contributory versions of these benefits if you have the appropriate National Insurance contributions for the relevant years. 

To find out more about the contribution rules for each benefit see our help pages on contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance (new style JSA under UC) or contributory Employment and Support Allowance (new style ESA under UC).

The tax years that are used to check your entitlement are usually the last two complete tax years before the benefit year in which your job seeking or limited capability for work began. A tax year runs from 6 April one year to 5 April the following year. A benefit year runs from the first Sunday in January.

You can only receive contribution-based/new style JSA for up to 6 months.

You can only receive contributory/ new style ESA for up to 12 months if you are put in the Work Related Activity Group. If you are put in the Support Group there is no limit on how long you can receive it for.

If you have already received your full entitlement to contribution-based/ new style JSA or contributory/ new style ESA or you do not have the required level of contributions please select 'no' in answer to the question 'Did you spend at least 26 weeks in work between 6th April 2016 and 5th April 2018?' and the calculator can estimate your entitlement to other benefits.


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