Contact the Jobcentre Plus on 0843 504 7178 to discuss your existing claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
Alternatively, if you have become unemployed and are looking to make a claim for benefits while you seek new employment, phone the Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) new claims helpline, run by Jobcentre Plus staff, on 08000 55 66 88.
Before you phone the JSA helpline you should check that you fulfil all the basic qualifying conditions, as outlined below:
- You must be unemployed or working less than 16 hours per week.
- If you are a man be between the ages of 18 and 65.
- If you are a woman be between 18 and the state pension age, which is being raised from 60 to 65.
- Have savings of less than £16,000
- You must be resident in the UK.
Applying for JSA
Applications for JSA can be made online or over the phone. If you make your initial JSA claim by telephone then you will need to answer questions about your status and employment history, and provide details such as National Insurance number, date of birth etc. The date that you make this call will be set as your ‘date of initial contact.’ This date will be used as your first day of entitlement and your claim will be backdated to it when you receive your first payment. A few days later you will receive a phone call from your local Jobcentre Plus office asking you to attend an interview where you will need to provide proof of your identity and then you will be assigned a fortnightly signing on date.
When you attend your initial JSA interview you will be asked to sign a ‘Jobseekers Agreement’, which states that you are fit for work and that you will do all you can to find work. In order to qualify for JSA the state demands that you spend at least 20 hours a week actively searching for work. At each of your fortnightly signing on sessions you will be asked to present your signing on book and a job search diary – also called a job sheet – which you use to provide evidence of job applications that you have made. Your JSA advisor is also able to send you on any courses that they believe will assist you in finding employment. If you fail to attend any of your fortnightly signing on sessions, or fail to prove that you have been actively searching for employment your advisor is entitled to suspend your JSA benefit with immediate effect.
There are types of JSA: contributions based and income based. Contributions based, which is paid at a higher rate, is awarded to people who have come out of employment and have, therefore, made enough National Insurance contributions over the last two years. The income based award will be given to people who are long term unemployed.
Savings and JSA
If you have £16,000 or more in savings you will automatically be disqualified from JSA. There will be a £1 reduction from your award for each £250 you have in savings over £6000.
- up to £57.35 to those aged 18-24
- up to £72.40 to those aged 25 plus
You can make an application for JSA over the phone by calling 0800 055 6688.
Or, if you have an existing claim, you can speak to a benefits advisor by calling 0843 504 7178 or 0845 606 0234 or 0345 604 3719.
If you are calling from a mobile phone then 03 numbers are cheaper than 08 numbers, so consider calling the 03 number to discuss your JSA claim when using a mobile phone, or try to use a landline.
If you would like to find out where your local Jobcentre Plus is located then browse the Jobcentre Plus finder.