Signing Off JSA and Other JSA complications

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) rules can be complicated. What happens if you start living with someone? What about going on holiday while on JSA? What if the money doesn’t turn up? We answer some common questions about JSA.

Monopoly board, 'Go' square

It's not always as simple as getting the money and going

Does living with a partner affect JSA?

The savings and capital of you and your partner are not taken into account when claiming New Style JSA, but your earnings and any payment you are getting from a pension can affect the amount you may receive.

Why haven’t I been paid JSA yet?

It’s probably useful to know that you may have to wait up to 7 days after applying for your JSA to start, and up to 2 weeks after that to get your first payment.

If you should have been paid and haven’t been paid yet, it’s important to find out what’s going on as soon as possible. The first step is to contact your local Jobcentre Plus and ask them about your claim. If your benefit was stopped because of something you’ve done (or haven’t done), then read our article here on JSA Sanctions.

If you don’t understand why you haven’t been paid yet, or disagree with the decision, then you can get advice and support from your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). They can also contact the Jobcentre on your behalf and help to clear things up.

Going on holiday while on JSA

When it comes to going on holiday while on JSA, bear in mind you can’t take a foreign holiday unless you’re looking for work within the European Economic Area (which includes each EU country along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland. Check out the website to see if you meet the criteria.

If you are thinking of going on holiday in the UK, the government’s website isn’t giving much away on this topic these days. The best approach would be to contact your local Jobcentre Plus and ask them if you can miss an appointment, but they’ll probably want you to take a laptop or other means to continue your job search.

If you do decide to go abroad, you’ll need to sign off just before you go, and sign on again when you get back.

I don’t get on with my JSA advisor

Some benefits advisors are great, some not so great. But as they’re holding the purse strings it’s worth trying to get along with them.

Remember, most of the things that are frustrating about claiming benefits and finding work won’t be up to your advisor, so try not to blame too much on them – they appreciate that.

Jobcentre staff should be respectful to you, give you correct information and not discriminate for any reason (including race, religion, gender and sexuality). If you feel that they’ve broken these rules, then you can make a complaint.

Where can I go for help with JSA?

Getting benefits is often a frustrating process. But there are lots of places you can go for help. Citizen’s Advice knows all about the benefits system and can help you understand your rights. You can visit your local bureau to get face-to-face advice and support. You must remember to bring along details of your benefits and general financial situation.

This benefits calculator from Turn2us can help you work out how much benefit you should be entitled to. Unfortunately we are unable to offer specific benefits advice at The Mix, but we can give emotional support and guide you to the best places for expert advice if you give us a call on 0808 808 4994

What to do if you have a change in circumstances

Remember to tell your benefits advisor if your circumstances change – for example, if you get a pay rise, new job or get married. If you don’t you could face a £50 fine, as well as having to pay back any extra benefit. See GOV.UK for more information.

If you’re still struggling when it comes to finding work:

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.



By Holly Turner

Updated on 10-Sep-2021