3. How to claim or reclaim

Check you’re eligible before you apply.

Apply online

You can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (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.

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:

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

Secondary identity documents

Examples include:

  • a birth certificate
  • a driving licence
  • a utility bill
  • a marriage certificate
  • a bank statement
  • a 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.

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, eg 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.