Cookies Policy

We use cookies to give you the best experience of our site. By using this site or by dismissing this banner you are consenting to their use. Find out how to manage cookies and change your settings.


We provide expert advice, practical support and campaign for single parents

  • Join us
  • Log in
Home Your work Employment JSA changes
Share Email Print More

Changes to Job Seekers Allowance in 2012

From early next year, all single parents with a youngest child aged five or six will be switched from income support (IS) to the jobseeker’s allowance (JSA).

This change will affect 100,000 single parents currently on IS. This does not affect the amount of money single parents receive, but JSA claimants are required to actively seek work – or risk a benefit cut. At Gingerbread we deeply concerned that single parents will be stuck between a rock and hard place, facing tougher rules but without availability of family-friendly jobs, adequate job-search support and reduced help with childcare costs.

Parents with a youngest child aged 12 were moved onto JSA in 2008, those with a youngest child aged 10 were moved over in 2009, and in 2010 this changed applied to those with a youngest child aged seven.

Single parents affected by this latest change will be contacted in mid-October by Jobcentre Plus.

What do you think about the changes?  Are you affected?  Then let us know in our JSA forum.  

If you have specific questions, please ring our Single Parent Helpline for personalised advice, or read through our factsheets on claiming jobseeker's allowance and on jobseeker's allowance: special rules for single parents.


ZoeAston avatar
19 March 2012 10:27

Dave H68 im also suffering depression , with severe anxiety im living in rural wales with no car no family not a rural bus service jobs are only seasonal , im at the moment on employment and support due to my problems and just found out only from a friend ill have to look for 24 she said not 32 hours a week thats impossible here , id never get home , i just adds to the stresses ive got my last bus is at 6pm in the week so im totally stuck

Low Incomes Tax Reform Group avatar
Low Incomes Tax Reform Group
20 January 2012 10:59

Hi Dave - if you would like some free advice from Gingerbread, try calling our helpline on 0808 802 0925, open today until 4pm.

DaveH68 avatar
20 January 2012 10:51

Im a single dad on jsa. I need the right help and advice. My daughter is 12 and im finding it hard to find work inbetween school hours and during school holidays. I seem to be hitting barriers all the time. At first i found my jsa advisor quite helpful. Was told would be looking for 16 hrs part time during school hours and flexible work because of holidays. But now some months down the line they are expecting me to work 32 hr all of a sudden and not even local. Im stuggling to be in two places at once. I suffer from depression and this is only making things worse for me. I was on isa for a short while but not long. Im just worried they will stop my jsa if i dont apply for anything these days. Need help and advice from anyone who can help please

Kalistella avatar
10 January 2012 15:42

My son is 6 and the changes will affect me soon. I have to say that providing there is training to get help me back into work then I'm all for it. They will have to take into account that there is very little childcare beyond 6pm and help us find day time work. What is launch pad?

vic65 avatar
19 October 2011 22:45

I am also worried about the change to JSA I am a grandmother with a residence order, my grandson will be 5 soon and i am told i have to change from IS to JSA. His father is decseased, he is not allowed any contact with his mother, his brother and sister are in care. I feel he has so much happened to him in his life, that i dont want to go to work and have someone else look after him, i agreed to look after him not a childminder. I was planning to start work (16hrs) when he was about 6-7 as my mother retires then and she would be able to look after him. I told my adviser at my last 6 monthly interview this and she said it wouldnt make any difference and leaving children in childcare is 'part of working these days' I am worried sick about the upcoming changes.

hopefulzhixi avatar
17 October 2011 23:54

martina I found this information that answer your question. October 2011 Income Support Change: The government has proposed to introduce a change this month which would mean to claim Income Support as a lone parent your youngest child must be under 5. Many lone parents would have to claim Jobseeker's Allowance unless they qualify for Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support for another reason. This would then affect existing claimants from April 2012. Update to follow once this change is confirmed.

GingerbreadAdmin avatar
30 September 2011 12:13

Hi Martina - you probably will be affected by JSA changes so I suggest you call the Gingerbread helpline: 0808 802 0925.

martina avatar
26 September 2011 20:00

i am doing a course called launch pad it ment to help me to get back to work because my adviser has told me that when my child reaches 5 i will have to switch over to jobseekers can you tell me if this is true as i have,nt seen anything about this ?? new change !

Add a comment

You need to be signed in to be able to add a comment. Log in or Register now