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old tax years used for jsa contibution?


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i have just been denied contribution based JSA however they decided to use 2003 & 2004 to base thier calculation on? since 2005 i have been working full time making full contributions. when i asked why they used these years they would only say "our system links back to your previous claim" refering to a claim i made for six months in the begining of 2004. is this really how the system works? or should i be assesed on my last two years contributions?

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If you made a claim in 2004 and were paid JSA contributions based for the full six months and you have been in full time employment until now then there is no linking claim.


Claims can link if you were to claim JSA and receive some of the entitlement then sign off and then sign back on two months later. This was introduced to stop people re-entitling themselves for the same period.


I think the person you have spoken to has guessed the reason. Ask them to explain how they can use 2003 and 2004 tax years for a claim in 2009. Linking periods are spread over months and not over years.


Something isn't right, I just can't tell you what it is from what info I have.

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They should only be looking at the Relevant Income Tax Years (RITY's) preceeding your benefit year. It is likely that you didn't satisfy either the First Contribution condition or Second Contribution Condition, both these have to be satisfied to receive contribution based benefit.


The first contribution condition.

In order to qualify for contribution based JSA you must have:


  • actually paid Class 1 contributions in one of the three last complete tax years on earnings of 25 times the lower earnings limit for that particular year; or
  • 25 Class 2 contributions in any of the three last complete tax years; or
  • a mixture of Class 1 and Class 2 totalling 25 in any of the three last complete tax years.

The lower earnings limit for the last three tax years are-

2006-2007 = £84

2007-2008 = £87

2008-2009 = £89

Class 1 National Insurance contributions are paid by employed people as a percentage of their earnings. Class 2 NI contributions are paid by self-employed people at a standard weekly rate.

The second contribution condition.

In addition to meeting the first condition you must also have paid (or have been treated as having paid) Class 1 or Class 2 contributions amounting to at least 50 times the lower earnings limit in each of the two relevant tax years.

The relevant tax years are those that precede the benefit year in which the claim is made. To make things a little more complex, the benefit year runs from the first Sunday in January whereas the tax year starts on April 6th.

Contribution credits count as Class 1 credits and can be used to help you meet the second contribution condition. You are credited for each full week that you receive-


  • incapacity benefit or
  • statutory sick pay or
  • severe disablement allowance or
  • income support due to incapacity for work or
  • maternity allowance or
  • jobseeker's allowance or
  • carer's allowance or
  • adoption pay


In your case the benefit year is 2009, so the RITY's used should be 05/06, 06/07 and 07/08.

The advice I give in relation to benefits should be viewed as general advice and not specific to your individual claim circumstances. I cannot give specific advice on your claim as I cannot access the claim.


If you find the advice useful please click on my scales.

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thanks for these responses, i am fairly sure this is either due to human or computer error. Was earning around 20K for each of those years so that should cover contributions shouldn't it?

If i call benefit centre they just fob me off with excuses that "their hands are tied" and "its the system" though. maybe i'll try them again and see if i get someone with a bit of common sense next time.

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The RITYs would be 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. They use the last two relevant income tax years before the year of the claim.


If you were earning the amount you said for both of these years then the contributions information has not been posted by your company. If you provide the P60s for the two years above they can change the information and this would very likely then entitle you to contributions based JSA.


Contact your benefit processing office and ask them to tell you what information is held for these years. If they both say nil then that usually means the employer has not updated the national insurance records. Then ask them how you should go about providing the information.

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