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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employment maintenance: jobseeker’s allowance: what happens when a JSA claim is made

This subject is presented as follows

Computer action
School leavers and students


When a claimant ‘signs on’, DWP asks for Parts 2 and 3 of form P45 given to them by any previous employer.

Where the claimant produces form P45 the details are put on the DWP computer (JSAPS) and the same checks carried out as an employer would make.

The JSAPS process, wherever possible, automatically updates the record with commencement details. The record is also updated to show the UNBEN signal.

There are some cases that exceptionally cannot be set up on JSAPS. These are notified to you on a P45(3)(Slip) attached to the P45 Part 3, and are dealt with in the same way as normal forms P45 Part 3. For more information see PAYE61000 onwards.

From 6 April 2016 Scottish income tax will apply where an individual is resident in the United Kingdom (UK) for tax purposes and who has their sole or main place of residence in Scotland. Scottish Income Tax is the amount of income tax Scottish taxpayers will pay on their non-savings and non-dividend income. Where Scottish Income Tax applies the tax code will include an S prefix (except for code NT), for example, S1100L, SBR. Further information is given at PAYE100035.


In certain cases DWP will record for their use a different code from that shown on the P45.

A cumulative code will be converted to Week 1 or Month 1 where

  • Either Part 2 or 3 of form P45 is missing
  • Parts 2 and 3 of form P45 are not identical
  • Form P45 does not relate to the employment which came immediately before the benefit claim
  • The claimant is an occupational pensioner
  • The pay, tax or week / month number details on form P45 are either omitted or unreadable
  • Form P45 shows code BR or SBR
  • An automatic Tax Table check results in a figure of tax due, which exceeds the amount of tax deducted (item 7) on the P45 (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

The code will be converted to the emergency code where

  • No code is shown on form P45, or it is unreadable or invalid
  • Form P45 shows that the old employment ceased before 6 April but the benefit claim started on or after 25 May

Where a claimant does not have form P45 the DWP records the emergency code.

Scottish customers will also receive the standard emergency code in these cases, i.e. no S prefix.

Computer action

JSAPS will then attempt to locate the record, and update it with commencement details known to the system as Record Type 2 (TIS) information.

Where a record is found it will be updated automatically with only

  • The employer reference (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • The date of claim
  • Benefit Office code
  • JSA indicator

If the date of leaving the previous period of Jobseeker’s Allowance is not held on the record, it will be updated to show it has potentially ceased.

If the DWP subsequently receives the claimant’s form P45, they cannot post the date of leaving, code, and pay and tax details to their record. The DWP will send the form P45(3) with a P45(3)(Slip) to HMRC, and await coding instructions on form P6U.

School leavers and students

School leavers and students do not usually have form P45 Parts 2 and 3 to hand in to DWP. DWP asks them to sign a declaration on form P187. Where they do so, DWP

  • Automatically allocates the emergency code for a single person on a cumulative basis treating previous pay and tax as Nil
  • Does not notify HMRC until

    • The claim ends
    • The end of the tax year

The period of benefit is dealt with when a new employment record is created after the JSA claim ends and a new job starts.


Exceptionally some cases cannot be set up on JSAPS. These cases are dealt with clerically at DWP. At the start of the JSA claim they will send you the form P45 Parts 2 and 3 together with the P45(3)(Slip), giving the reason why the claim is clerical. At the end of the JSA claim, you will be sent a manual form P45(1)U.

For details about capturing these forms see PAYE60001 onwards.

In deceased cases the P45(1) details are transmitted online via JSAPS and the parts P45(1A) 2 and 3 are sent direct to HMRC, so that any refund of tax to date of death can be calculated.