How Much Is Job Seekers Allowance For Foster Carers?

If you’re a foster carer who’s claiming benefits for the first time, you’ll be offered Universal Credit. Those who are already receiving Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA), which is awarded to help people while they’re looking for work, will be transferred over to Universal Credit in time.

Can Foster Carer’s Claim Job Seekers Allowance?

Fostering isn’t officially treated the same way as traditional work by The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), therefore you could claim job seekers allowance as a foster carer.

Job Seekers Allowance Criteria For Eligibility

Foster carers are entitled to receive Job Seekers Allowance JSA if they are:

  • Aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions for 16 and 17-year-olds)
  • Under State Pension age
  • In full time education
  • Living in England, Scotland or Wales
  • Available for work
  • Actively looking for a job
  • Work less than 16 hours a week

How Much Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) Will I Receive?

Not everybody’s payments are the same – they’re influenced by age, income and savings. You can calculate how much you’re likely to receive, and how your JSA payment may impact your other benefits, by using an online calculator.

Like Income Support , JSA is paid every two weeks. For guidance on average Jobseekers’ Allowance rates, check out the table below:

AgeJSA weekly amount
18 to 24Up to £57.90
25 or overUp to £73.10
Couples (both aged over 18)Up to £114.85

Note – It’s not possible to receive income-based JSA and Universal Credit at the same time.

How JSA’s calculated

JSA calculations, which are carried out by Jobcentre Plus, depend on the following two factors:

1. Class 1 National Insurance contributions.
2. Income and savings.

Contribution-based or income-based JSA – what’s the difference?

Contribution-based JSA is awarded – if enough Class 1 National Insurance payments have been made within the two tax years before the current benefit year. This form of JSA can be paid even if your partner works or if you have savings.

Income-based JSA is given if – you work less than 16 hours a week, your partner works less than 24 hours a week and you have less than £16,000 in savings.

Where can I find out more?

For more advice on Jobseekers’ Allowance, call Jobcentre Plus’ Jobseekers’ Allowance number on 0800 169 0310 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday).

To find out if you could be eligible for more benefits, read our guide to Foster Carer Benefits