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Jobseeker's allowance: contribution or income based

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I am soon to claim JSA (end of Aug 2010). I understand that my NI contributions for the tax years ending 2008 and 2009 will be used to determine whether or not I receive contribution or income based JSA.


However, I did not make any NI contributions between April 2007 and November 2007 (I wasn't in employment or claiming JSA). So:


From April 2007 to November 2007 I was making no NI contributions

From November 2007 to February 2008 I was claiming income based JSA

From February 2008 to September 2009 I was in full time employment

From September 2009 to March 2010 I was claiming income based JSA

From March 2010 to August 2010 I was in full time employment


However, as I said, I understand that any contributions made after April 2009 aren't taken into account. So the question is again as I did not make any NI contributions between April 2007 and November 2007 will I still be able to claim contribution based JSA?


It's just that I'm worried about any savings that I may have.


I hope that all of this makes sense :)


Thanks very much for anybody who can help me, it's -very- much appreciated.

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The Relevant Income Tax Year (RITYS) runs from January to January (I think it starts with the first Sunday in January). Therefore, I think that when JCP do the calculations they will look at the amount of contributions between Jan 2008 and Jan 2010.


Your local CAB office might be able to advise you with regards to the linking rules.


Best wishes

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Thanks -very- much for that info., it's very useful. I should have gone to the CAB as you implied, but when I go to my first meeting at the Jobcentre I'll take that list of dates just to make sure as I had trouble in the past when they put me down for contribution based but was only entitled to income based and it took almost two months to sort out as they kept on giving me incorrect information meaning that I reapplied incorrectly twice (the main frontline staff in Wolverhampton, I should have called the main centre in Birmingham direct I suppose).


Take care

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Sorry to hear about the problems you have been experiencing with JCP. Unfortunately, due to their track record of employing casual staff and poor training they regularly give out incorrect information.


The RITY starts with the first Sunday in January and ends with the last Saturday before the first Sunday of the following year i.e. Sunday 6 Jan 2008 - Saturday 3 Jan 2009, Sunday 4 Jan 2009 - Saturday 2 Jan 2010. Hope this makes sense!


I have also found the following which might be of further help to you.

Contribution based job seekers allowance


There are two main contribution conditions:

1) You must actually have paid Class 1 National Insurance contributions with an earnings factor of at least 25 times the lower earnings level in one of the two relevant contribution years.

Class 1 National Insurance contributions are only paid by somebody working for an employer (not self-employed).

Earnings factor of at least 25 times the lower earnings level means that, for example, in 2003/04 you must have paid 25 x £77 = £1,925.

Relevant contribution year runs from April to April in the two years prior to the date of claim. The benefit year runs from the first Sunday in January to the end of the first Saturday in the following January.


2) The second contribution condition is that in each of the relevant contribution years you must have either paid or been credited with Class 1 contributions with an earnings factor of at least 50 times the lower earnings limit for that year.

In 2003/04 this was 50 x £77, which is £3,850.

Even if the contribution conditions are satisfied, contribution based job seekers allowance may not be paid at the start of or during the claim for several reasons:

  • The full time work rule
  • Waiting days
  • Other benefits
  • Absence from Great Britain
  • Capacity for work
  • Availability and actively seeking work
  • Misconduct or leaving previous job voluntarily
  • Failure to take up a job or training
  • Personal occupational pension

This benefit is only paid for a maximum six-month period.

It is possible to appeal against a refusal of benefit because of a decision relating to contributions or credits. In practice, the matter will be referred to the Inland Revenue for an investigation and the decision may be revised.


Good Luck and best wishes!

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The contributory years they will look at are the two complete tax years years prior to the current benefit year, which for any claim made in 2010 are 07/08 and 08/09. They won't begin looking at 09/10 until January of 2011.


Antone explains it well here

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Thanks very much both, you've been more than helpful. It's's all rather boggling to somebody as dumb as me however :)


I think that the best thing is that after I fill in my online application and have to visit the Jobcentre, just take in a list of dates above with earnings so that they can advise me. Then I won't be claiming for something that I shouldn't. From my previous application as I said I presumed that anything after April 2009 won't be taken into account.


Thanks again

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