1. Overview

You can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) to help you while you look for work.

How much you get depends on your circumstances.

The rules are different in Northern Ireland.

To get JSA you usually have to:

When you apply for JSA, you must go to an interview to complete your claim.

After you’ve applied

You have to agree to a ‘Claimant Commitment’ if you want to claim JSA. This is an agreement that you’ll complete certain tasks, eg make a work plan.

A work coach will help you to make a work plan for how you’re going to find a job.

What you agree to do will depend on things such as your health, your responsibilities at home and how much help you need to get work or increase your income.

Your JSA payments could be stopped for a period (‘sanctioned’) if you don’t do something you agreed to in your Claimant Commitment and you can’t give a good reason.

You must go to a Jobcentre Plus office (usually every 2 weeks or when asked). This is known as ‘signing on’.

When you sign on, you need to show your work coach what you’ve been doing to look for work, eg job applications and interviews.

If you stop claiming JSA and apply again within 26 weeks, you can ‘reclaim JSA.