Guidance

Decision makers’ guide: Vols 4, 5, 6 and 7: Jobseeker's Allowance and Income Support: staff guide

Guidance for DWP decision makers on decision making and appeals.

Documents

DMG Vol 4: Ch 20, JSA and IS, conditions of entitlement

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DMG Vol 4 Ch 21: Jobseeker’s Allowance Labour market questions, special conditions for JSA(Cont) and jobseeking periods

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DMG Vol 4 Ch 22: Membership of the family

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DMG Vol 4 Ch 23: Normal amount payable

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DMG Vol 4 Ch 24: Special cases

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 61, June 2020

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 60, February 2020

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 59, October 2019

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 58, June 2019

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 57, February 2019

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 56, October 2018

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 55, June 2018

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 54, February 2018

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 53, October 2017

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 52, June 2017

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 51, February 2017

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 50, October 2016

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 49, June 2016

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DMG Vol 4: Amendment 48, February 2016

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DMG Vol 5 Ch 25: General rules on income

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DMG Vol 5 Ch 26: Employed earners

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DMG Vol 5 Ch 27: Self-employed earners and share fishermen

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DMG Vol 5 Ch 28: Income other than earnings

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DMG Vol 5 Ch 29: Capital

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 60, June 2020

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 59, February 2020

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 58, October 2019

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 57, June 2019

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 56, February 2019

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 55, October 2018

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 54, June 2018

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 53, February 2018

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 52, October 2017

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 51, June 2017

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 50, February 2017

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 49, October 2016

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 48, June 2016

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DMG Vol 5: Amendment 47, February 2016

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DMG Vol 6 Ch 30: Students, young claimants and their partners

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DMG Vol 6 Ch 31: This chapter is spare

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DMG Vol 6 Ch 32: Trade disputes

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DMG Vol 6 Ch 33: Payment questions

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DMG Vol 6 Ch 34: Sanctions

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DMG Vol 6 Ch 35: Hardship

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DMG Vol 6: Amendment 54, June 2020

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DMG Vol 6: Amendment 53, February 2020

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DMG Vol 6: Amendment 52, February 2019

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DMG Vol 6: Amendment 51, June 2018

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DMG Vol 6: Amendment 50, February 2018

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DMG Vol 6: Amendment 49, June 2017

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DMG Vol 6: Amendment 48, February 2017

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DMG Vol 6: Amendment 47, October 2016

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DMG Vol 6: Amendment 46, June 2016

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DMG Vol 6: Amendment 45, February 2016

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DMG Vol 7 Ch 36: Transitional protection from supp B to IS and supp B to IS to JSA(IB)

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DMG Vol 7 Ch 37: This chapter is spare

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DMG Vol 7 Ch 38: This chapter is spare

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DMG Vol 7 Ch 39: Social Fund payments

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DMG Vol 7 Ch 40: This chapter is spare

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DMG Vol 7: Amendment 45, June 2020

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DMG Vol 7: Amendment 44, February 2020

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DMG Vol 7: Amendment 43, October 2018

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DMG Vol 7: Amendment 42, June 2017

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DMG Vol 7: Amendment 41, February 2017

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Details

This guidance is for DWP staff who make decisions about benefits and pensions. It helps them make decisions that are accurate and consistent.

The introduction of Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment affects the guidance DWP staff use.

DWP decision makers now use Advice for decision making (instead of the DMG) for decisions that involve:

Why we publish this guide

We publish this guide to help people understand how we make decisions.

Information for claimants

Information for claimants about eligibility and how to claim:

Published 1 June 2013
Last updated 7 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated DMG Vol 5 (Jobseeker's Allowance and Income Support), chapter 28 - Income other than earnings with guidance on how to treat the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation payment.

  2. Updated Vol 6 Chapter 33: Removes reference to child support maintenance (CSM) deductions (which have now moved to chapter 8) at 33302, 33313, 33320, 33321, 33326, 33329 and 33330. Change made to personal expenses rate due to uprating on 6/4/20 at 33413 and 33420. Paragraphs removed at 33595 to 33649 (moved to chapter 8). Appendices 1 and 2 removed as now redundant.

  3. Updated chapters 28, 29, 30 and 39.

  4. Updated Chapters 20, 21, 26, 27 and 29. Now include references to DMG memo 13/20.

  5. Added revised chapters 34 and 39. Summary of changes in 'DMG Vol 6: Amendment 54, June 2020' and 'DMG Vol 7: Amendment 45, June 2020'.

  6. Added revised chapters 22, 23, 27 and 28. Summary of changes in 'DMG Vol 4: Amendment 61, June 2020' and 'DMG Vol 5: Amendment 59, February 2020'.

  7. Added revised 'DMG Vol 5 Ch 28: Income other than earnings' and 'DMG Vol 5 Ch 29: Capital'.

  8. Revised versions of Vol 4: Ch 20, Vol 4: Ch 21, Vol 5: Ch 26 and Vol 5: Ch 28.

  9. Revised versions of 'DMG Vol 4 Ch 21: Jobseeker’s Allowance Labour market questions, special conditions for JSA (Cont) and jobseeking periods' 'DMG Vol 4 Ch 22: Membership of the family' and 'DMG Vol 4 Ch 24: Special cases.'

  10. Revised versions of DMG Vol 4: Ch 20, JSA and IS, conditions of entitlement, and DMG Vol 4 Ch 21: Jobseeker’s Allowance Labour market questions, special conditions for JSA (Cont) and jobseeking periods.

  11. Added revised DMG Vol 4 Ch 23: Normal amount payable, Vol 5 Ch 26: Employed earners and Vol 5 Ch 27: Self-employed earners and share fishermen, with annotation to DMG memo 5/20.

  12. Updated DMG volume 4, chapters 21 to 24, volume 5, chapters 28 and 29, volume 6, chapters 30 and 35 and volume 7, chapter 39. Changes listed in the amendments for February 2020 PDFs.

  13. Revised DMG volume 4, chapter 23: Normal amount payable, to include annotations to DMG Memo 02/20.

  14. Added revised 'DMG Vol 7: Amendment 43, October 2018' to include annotations to DMG Memo 01/20: Civil Partnerships for opposite sex couples.

  15. Added revised version of 'DMG Vol 6 Ch 34: Sanctions' as it now has references to 'DMG memo 15/19: JSA higher level sanctions amendments 2019.'

  16. Added revised DMG vol 4, chapter 20: JSA and IS, conditions of entitlement, chapter 23: Normal amount payable and amendment 59, which lists the changes to the chapters. Also added revised DMG vol 5, chapter 28: Income other than earnings, chapter 29: capital and amendment 58, which lists the changes to the chapters.

  17. Added revised Volume 4, Chapter 28 and Chapter 29. Added revised Volume 7, Chapter 39.

  18. Updated chapter 39 with guidance about the Children's Funeral Fund in England.

  19. Updated chapter 33 'Payment questions' with changes for deductions for arrears of child maintenance.

  20. Added revised 'DMG Vol 4 Ch 23: Normal amount payable', 'DMG Vol 4 Ch 24: Special cases' and 'DMG Vol 5 Ch 26: Employed earners' and added associated amendment notes 'DMG Vol 4: Amendment 58, June 2019' and 'DMG Vol 5: Amendment 57, June 2019'.

  21. Updated chapter 20, JSA and IS - conditions of entitlement and chapter 23 - normal amount payable.

  22. Added revised volume 4 chapter 23, volume 5 chapter 29 and volume 6 chapter 33 with amendments listed in amendment documents 57, 56 and 52, respectively

  23. Revised DMG volume 7 chapter 39, with amendments listed in amendment 43.

  24. Added revised DMG volume 4 chapter 24, with changes in volume 4, amendment 56, and revised DMG volume 5 chapters 28 and 29, with changes in volume 5, amendment 55.

  25. Revised DMG volume 4 chapter 24 - removed references to pensioners, the elderly, the sick in religious orders (dealt with in chapters 54 and 78). Volume 7 chapter 39 - removed references to Universal Credit Programmes.

  26. Revised DMG volume 5 chapter 29: Capital. Annotated to DMG memo 12/18.

  27. Deleted out of date DMG volume 7 chapter 37 (Transitional protection from UB and IS to JSA).

  28. Published revised DMG volume 4 chapters 20, 21, 23 and amendment 55, volume 5 chapters 26, 27 and 28 and amendment 54 and volume 6 chapter 34 and amendment 51. The amendments to the chapters are listed in amendments 55, 54 and 51, respectively.

  29. Removed out of date guidance from DMG volume 6 chapter 31 and volume 7 chapter 40. PDF left spare and intentionally blank.

  30. Added revised DMG chapters 20, 21, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 34. The amendments to these chapters are listed in amendments 54 (vol 4), 53 (vol 5), 50 (vol 5) and 50 (vol 6).

  31. Revised DMG volume 4, chapter 20: JSA and IS - conditions of entitlement. Annotated to new memo 24/17.

  32. Added revised DMG volume 4 chapters 22, 24 and volume 5 chapter 28. The amendments to these chapters are listed in amendments 53 (vol 4) and 52 (vol 5).

  33. Added revised DMG Vol 4 Ch 21: Jobseeker’s Allowance Labour market questions, special conditions for JSA(Cont) and jobseeking periods, DMG Vol 5 Ch 26: Employed earners and DMG Vol 6 Ch 30: Students, young claimants and their partners - annotated to new memo 21/17.

  34. Added revised DMG volume 5 chapters 28 and 29. Annotated to DMG memo 20/17.

  35. Added revised DMG volume 6 chapter 35: Hardship. Annotated to DMG memo 18/17.

  36. Added revised DMG chapters 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 34, 35 and 39. The amendments to these chapters are listed in amendments 52 (vol 4), 51 (vol 5), 49 (vol 6) and 42 (vol 7). Also deleted out of date amendments 46 and 47 (vol 4), 45 and 46 (vol 5), 43 and 44 (vol 6) and 40 (vol 7).

  37. Revised volume 4 chapter 23, volume 5 chapters 28 and 29 and volume 7 chapter 39 - annotated to memo 14/2017.

  38. Revised DMG volume 4, chapter 23. All paragraphs were missing from the previous version.

  39. Revised DMG volume 4, chapters 22 and 23, volume 5, chapters 28 and 29, volume 6 chapter 33 and volume 7 chapter 39. All annotated to memos.

  40. Revised DMG volume 4, chapter 23 and volume 7, chapter 39 annotated to memos 6 to 8/17.

  41. Added revised chapters 23, 26, 27 and 33 with new rates from April 2017.

  42. Published revised chapter 28 annotated with new memo 3/17.

  43. Added revised chapters 20, 23, 26, 28, 30, 34, 35 and 39. The amendments to these PDFs are listed in amendments 51 (vol 4), 50 (vol 5), 48 (vol 6) and 41 (vol 7).

  44. Published revised volume 4, chapter 21: Jobseeker’s Allowance Labour market questions, special conditions for JSA(Cont) and jobseeking periods, annotated to new memo 25/16.

  45. Published revised volume 7, chapter 39 annotated to new memo 24/16.

  46. Added revised chapters 23, 28, 30, 33 and amendments vol 4 - 50, vol 5 - 49 and vol 6 - 47, which list the amendments.

  47. Published revised chapter 30 annotated to new memo 19/16.

  48. Added revised chapters 21, 23, 25, 26, 27 and 28. The amendments to these PDFs are listed in amendments 49 (vol 4), 48 (vol 5) and 46 (vol 6).

  49. Published revised chapter 20 annotated with new memo 12/16.

  50. Published revised vol 4 amendment 48 and vol 5 amendment 47 - page 2 - amended abbreviations and statute abbreviations.

  51. Published revised chapters 23, 26 and 39 annotated with new memo 11/16.

  52. Added revised chapters 23, 26, 27 and 33 annotated to DMG memo 10/16.

  53. Added revised chapters 20, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 34 and amendments 4, 5 and 6, which lists the amendments.

  54. Added revised chapters 20, 21, 23, 24, 29, 30, 33 to 35 and 39. The amendments to these PDFs are listed in amendments 47 (vol 4), 46 (vol 5), 44 (vol 6) and 40 (vol 7).

  55. Replaced chapter 39: Changes to weather stations and postcode districts. See memo 21/15.

  56. Added revised chapters 20, 21, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 33, and 34. The amendments to these PDFs are listed in amendments 46 (vol 4), 45 (vol 5) and 43 (vol 6).

  57. Added revised ch 23 annotated to memo 19/15: Housing costs and changes to standard interest rate.

  58. Published revised chapters 20, 21, 25 to 30 and 34 annotated with new relevant memos 6 to 12/15.

  59. Replaced chapters 21, 23, 26, 27 and 33 with revised versions annotated with new memo 5/2015.

  60. Added revised chapters 20, 21, 23, 27, 29, 33, 34, 35 and 39. The amendments to these PDFs are listed in amendments 45 (vol 4), 44 (vol 5), 42 (vol 6) and 39 (vol 7).

  61. Replaced ch 28 and 39 annotated with new memos 1 and 2/15.

  62. Added revised chapter 21, 28, 29, 34 and 35 annotated to memo 38/14.

  63. Published revised chapter 23 annotated with new memos 33 and 34/14.

  64. Added revised: vol 4 chapters 20 to 23 and new amendment 44 - vol 5 chapters 26, 28 and 29 and new amendment 43 - vol 6 chapters 30, 33, 34 and 35 and new amendment 41 - vol 7 chapter 39.

  65. Added revised chapters of volumes 4 to 7. See amendment PDFs 43 (vol 4), 42 (vol 5), 40 (vol 6) and 38 (vol 7) for a list of changes made.

  66. Removed vol 6 chapter 31 - Urgent case payments - no longer current.

  67. Replaced vol 4 ch 23 and vol 5 ch 28. See DMG memo 9/14 for details of amendments.

  68. Added revised chapters 21 to 28, 30, 33 to 35 and 39. The amendments to these PDFs are listed in amendments 37, 39, 41 and 42.

  69. Added revised PDFs of vol 4 - chapters 21, 23 and 24. See vol 4 amendment 42 - Feb 14 - for details of what's changed in each chapter.

  70. Added revised PDFs of vol 6 - chapters 30, 33, 34, and 35. See vol 6 amendment 39 - Feb 14 - for details of what's changed in each chapter.

  71. Added revised chs 25 - Income (incorporates memo 22/13 - relevant to ch 25 guidance ), 27 - Self-employed earners and share fishermen (incorporates memo 22/13 - relevant to ch 27 guidance), 30 - Students, young claimants and their partners (new para 30772 on Prince's Trust and NCS courses and ref to memo 22/13 removed) and 39 - Social Fund payments (Incorporates memo 17/13: Winter Fuel Payments – Amendment to Regulations and memo 19/13: Social Fund Cold Weather Payments, also minor changes to legal references - 39169, 39903, 39918.

  72. Added revised ch 24 on joint-claim couples and members of a religious order and incorporate memo 22/13: JSA and Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment – New Schemes from 5 Nov 13.

  73. Added revised ch 23 with added guidance on public service pensions for the purpose of contributory Jobseeker's Allowance and incorporate memos 14/13 (Universal Credit) and 13/13 (Armed forces independence payment). Added revised ch 25 incorporating memo 22/13 (Misc amendments).

  74. Replaced DMG Vol 6 Ch 34: Sanctions - chapter entirely re-written.

  75. Amended ch 23 and amendment 41 to incorporate memos DMG 09/13: Rates for Income Tax IS/JSA/ESA/SPC benefit rates and social security contributions and DMG 13/13: Armed Forces Independence payment Consequential amendments.

  76. Updated editions of: DMG Volume 4 Chapter 21 JSA: labour market questions and DMG Volume 6 Chapter 34 Sanctions published.

  77. First published.