4. How to claim or reclaim

Check you’re eligible before you apply.

The way you claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) depends on whether you’re eligible for Universal Credit.

If you’re eligible for Universal Credit

If you’re eligible for Universal Credit, you can call the Service Centre to apply for ‘new style JSA’.

Service Centre
Telephone: 0345 600 0723

Textphone: 0345 600 0743

Welsh language: 0345 600 3018

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find out about call charges

If you’re not eligible for Universal Credit

If you’re not eligible for Universal Credit, you can claim JSA online.

You’ll get a text or phone call within 2 working days to arrange a JSA interview at your local Jobcentre Plus office.

You won’t get JSA if you don’t go to the interview.

Reclaim JSA (‘rapid reclaim’)

You can make a quicker claim for JSA online if you’ve had JSA in the last 26 weeks.

You will have to start the application again. It should take about 20 minutes.

You still have to attend an interview at a Jobcentre Plus office to get JSA.

If you can’t apply online

Contact Jobcentre Plus if you can’t apply online.

If you’re reclaiming ‘new style JSA

Contact the Service Centre.

Service Centre
Telephone: 0345 600 0723

Textphone: 0345 600 0743

Welsh language: 0345 600 3018

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find out about call charges

Your JSA interview

Jobcentre Plus will contact you to arrange your interview after you’ve applied.

You’ll need to bring all of the following:

  • your P45 (if you have one)
  • 1 ‘primary’ identity document
  • 2 ‘secondary’ identity documents - one to prove your address and the other to prove your date of birth

Primary identity documents

Examples include your:

  • current passport
  • driving licence
  • biometric residence permit
  • certificate of naturalisation as a British citizen
  • permanent residence card

Secondary identity documents

Examples of proof of your date of birth include your:

  • birth certificate
  • marriage certificate

Examples of proof of your address include a recent:

  • utility bill
  • bank statement
  • Council Tax bill

You may need to bring in other documents based on the information you provide so that Jobcentre Plus can make a decision on your claim.

Support at your interview

You can take someone with you to your JSA interview.

Contact your Jobcentre Plus before the interview if you need support because of a disability or health condition (for example, if you’re deaf and need a sign language interpreter).

Sign an agreement to look for work (‘Claimant Commitment’)

At your JSA interview, you must sign an agreement about what steps you’ll take to look for a job. This is called a ‘Claimant Commitment’.

You and your work coach will agree what goes in your Claimant Commitment. This could include:

  • what you need to do to look for work - for example registering with recruitment agencies, writing a CV
  • how many hours you need to spend looking for work each week

What you agree to do will depend on things like:

  • your health
  • your responsibilities at home
  • how much help you need to get work or increase your income

Your JSA might be stopped if you don’t do what you’ve agreed to in your Claimant Commitment and you can’t give a good reason.

Appeal a decision

You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you disagree with a decision.

Make a complaint

You can complain about Jobcentre Plus if you’re unhappy with the service you’ve received.