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Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - How do I claim Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)?

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is a benefit for people who are not in full time employment (work less than 16 hours per week), are capable of working and are looking for work.

How do I claim Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)?

It is no longer possible to make new claims for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance. 

New Style Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)

In England, Scotland or Wales

Claim online by going to the Gov.UK website, go down the page and click on "Claim JSA online"

Or phone Jobcentre Plus to make a claim:

  • Telephone: 0800 055 6688

  • Textphone: 0800 023 4888

  • Welsh language Line: 0800 012 1888

In Northern Ireland

Contact your local Social Security/Jobs and Benefits Office for a claim form


What documents will I need to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance?

You must give your national insurance number and evidence of who you are, for example, a driving licence or birth certificate. You normally also have to give your partner's national insurance number if they live with you. You also have to give evidence of your income and savings, for example, bank statements or pay slips.

When will my Jobseeker’s Allowance claim begin?

There is a 7-day period between claiming and being able to get Jobseeker’s Allowance. These are called waiting days. Exceptions apply.

A claim for Jobseeker's Allowance can be backdated for up to three months before the date of the claim if you would have been entitled to it earlier. You have to have an acceptable reason for claiming late. Request this when claiming.

Postal Sign On

If it would be very difficult for you to get to the Jobcentre, (for example because you have a disability which affects your mobility, you live a long way from the Jobcentre or travelling to the Jobcentre is very expensive), you may be able to sign on by post.

If you sign on for your Jobseeker's Allowance by post and experience difficulties with this, (for example, your postal declaration is not received and as a result your benefit is stopped ), you should immediately seek advice from an experienced benefits adviser. To find local advice providers in your area, you can use our Find an Adviser tool.

Change of circumstances

You must report changes in circumstance which might affect your entitlement to this benefit.

Reviewed: January 2021

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