Apply for JSA online

I want to claim Jobseeker's Allowance. Is it possible to do it all by post or online, or do I have to show up at the jobcentre in person?

Jobcentre Plus now encourages everyone to apply for JSA online. These days it’s called ‘New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance’ and can be awarded on its own or alongside Universal Credit.

If you can’t claim New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance online, you can also make your JSA claim by calling the jobcentre on 0800 055 6688 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday. They can send you the claim forms, including one called ‘Helping you back to work.’

Interviews at the Job Centre

You’ll then have to attend a new jobseeker interview at the Jobcentre. In exceptional circumstances, you can post the completed forms to the job centre instead of attending a new jobseeker interview, but the interview must still be carried out in person as soon as possible after this. The exceptional circumstances are where:

  • Attendance at the jobcentre would mean you were away from home for more than eight hours.
  • You can provide an understandable reason why you’re unable to reach the jobcentre.
  • The jobcentre is closed to the public due to an unforeseen event.

What happens after I’ve been granted JSA?

Once you’ve been granted New Style JSA you’ll be expected to attend the job centre at least once every two weeks for an interview. This is to satisfy them that you have been actively seeking work. It’s very important that you attend all these appointments (or let them know in advance if you have a good reason for not going) otherwise you could get your benefit stopped for a period of time. Learn more about benefit sanctions here.

Check out this blog if you have any complications with your JSA claim. The Turn2us Benefits Calculator is also a useful tool to help you find out what benefits you’re eligible for.

Next Steps

  • Use the Turn2Us calculator to work out what benefits and grants you're entitled to, or call their helpline on 0808 802 2000
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.