HC Deb 18 January 2001 vol 361 c383W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the method adopted to judge whether a claimant's combined savings and debts make them eligible to claim Jobseeker's Allowance. [145279]

Angela Eagle

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) consists of both contribution-based and income-based elements. The personal rate of contribution-based JSA is payable for six months irrespective of the amount of savings a person and their partner has. Those who do not qualify for, or whose needs are not met by the contributory element, can claim income-based JSA. Claims to JSA are referred to an independent Decision Maker for a decision on entitlement which is based on the facts of each individual case.

Income-based JSA is available to unemployed people whose resources are insufficient to meet their day-to-day living expenses and are below a level approved each year by Parliament. Generally, capital up to £3,000 is ignored and people can have up to £8,000 capital, including their partner's capital, and still get some income-based JSA. Debts or liabilities are not usually offset against a person's assets when assessing capital for Income Support purposes.

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