There have been no discussions with Cabinet Office colleagues on extending eligibility for contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance during the covid-19 outbreak.
A person’s entitlement to contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance is limited to a maximum of 182 days in any period for which entitlement is established by reference to the person’s National Insurance record in the same two income tax years relevant to the claim or claims. The time limit strikes a balance in providing support whilst keeping to the cost of this and other contributory benefits affordable based on the overall income to the National Insurance Fund each year.
People who are entitled to contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or whose entitlement ends before they find employment, may have access to income-related support through Universal Credit. Entitlement will depend on individual circumstances.