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


To apply for Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), you must ring your local jobcentre. They can send you the claim forms, including one called Helping you back to work. You must fill this in and then take it with you to a new jobseeker interview at the jobcentre. In exceptional circumstances, you can post the completed forms to the jobcentre instead of attending a new jobseeker interview, but the interview must be carried out 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 are unable to reach the jobcentre;
  • The jobcentre is closed to the public due to an unforeseen event.

It is recommended that you complete the forms and hand them into the jobcentre in person at the time of your interview. It is also useful to telephone the jobcentre in advance. This way, you can book an appointment, arrange for the forms to be sent to you, and ensure you get an interview at the time you want one. It is often not possible to be seen straight away, or even at all, if you just turn up at the jobcentre.

Once you have been granted JSA you will 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 also worth noting that you're entitled to two weeks' holiday per year during which you don't have to report to the job centre.

Updated: 06/07/2007

Question answered by CAB

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