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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employment maintenance: jobseeker’s allowance: joint claims to jobseeker’s allowance

From 19 March 2001 when someone claims Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for a partner, that partner will also be required to claim if

  • One or both of the couple were born after 19 March 1976 and are over 18


  • They have no dependent children

In these circumstances both members of the couple will have to make a joint JSA claim and each will have to meet JSA conditions.

This condition was introduced by the

  • Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999


  • JSA (Joint Claims) Regulations (SI1978/2000)

This legislation gives a couple the rights to choose which claimant will receive the JSA payment. However, if they cannot agree then the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make the decision (on behalf of the Secretary of State).

The payment will not be split and the rates of JSA will be the same as for all JSA claimants.

The joint claim requirement will apply to all those who meet the conditions above whether they have an existing claim on 19 March or make a new / renewal JSA claim after this date.

However, there will be exemption categories that the partner can apply for if they are not available for work. Examples are

  • Students
  • Those with caring responsibilities
  • Those who are sick

For taxation purposes the JSA payment is deemed to be the income of the member of the couple nominated to receive the payment. This is different from normal tax rules and applies whether or not the couple are married.

Note: The couple can change the nomination at any time during the claim. There may be occasions when the person not nominated by the couple receives the payment of JSA. This will be if the nominated payee is ‘sanctioned’ by the DWP for failing to comply with certain JSA conditions.

For most JSA claimants, claims will be operated on the JSAPS computer and individual’s records will be updated on the computer in the normal way.

There will be a small number of partners of those claiming JSA who receive ‘incompatible benefits’ such as

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Statutory Sick Pay from a job of less than 16 hours

These partners still need to be part of the JSA joint claim, but in these circumstances DWP operate the claims clerically.

Notifications for the new member of the joint claim will be notified to HMRC by sending forms P45(3) and PB3.

When the JSA claim ends, forms P45(1)U (MAN) (and P180(MAN) where appropriate) will be sent to HMRC showing details of the taxable and total benefit paid for both members of the claim.

For more information about dealing with these notifications see PAYE67026.