Jobseeker’s Allowance has been replaced by Universal Credit which is for people of working age who are in or out of work.
Royal Mail strike action (Autumn 2022)
Should the upcoming strike action by Royal Mail delay you sending or receiving benefits information or health assessment details by post, contact your relevant benefits branch or service centre.
Customers in urgent need can arrange to use a local Jobs & Benefits office as a delivery point to send forms or documents.
If your employment or self-employment has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) virus, make sure that you're applying for the benefit and support that is appropriate to your circumstances.
If you are unable to work due to an underlying condition or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should not go ahead with a claim to ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
If you are fit for work but have lost your employment because of the impact of the COVID-19 virus or any other reason, you should go ahead with a claim to ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if you meet the qualifying conditions.
You may contact the Benefits freephone by ringing 0800 022 4250 for any queries you have about Jobseeker’s Allowance or ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance.
'New style' JSA
Universal Credit replaced Jobseeker’s Allowance. However if you have been credited with enough National Insurance contributions, you may be entitled to 'New Style' Jobseeker’s Allowance. Your partner’s income and savings won’t affect how much you’re paid.
You can get ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance for up to 182 days. Depending on your circumstances, it can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit.
If you get both at the same time, your ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance payment will be deducted from your Universal Credit payment – you aren’t guaranteed to get any extra money.
If you get ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance, you will get class 1 National Insurance credits. In some circumstances you may only get these credits and no money.
How to claim
Complete your claim for New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance.
This form is for Northern Ireland claims only.
If you are unable to complete your claim online then you may also claim ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance by contacting the Benefits freephone number on 0800 022 4250.
If you use sign language, you might be able to use the video relay service to claim ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance using British Sign Language (BSL) or Irish Sign Language (ISL). To access the service go to:
If you're deaf or suffer from hearing loss, you can contact the Department for Communities by using a Textphone to ring 0800 587 1297 and you will be put through to the TexBox service.
During the COVID-19 period, telephones lines will be extremely busy and you may experience a longer period of waiting time for your call to be answered.
If you can, you should complete the claim form via the link above.
Once your claim has been received you will be contacted to complete the claim form by telephone call. You may receive a text message beforehand just to let you know when to expect the call. It's important that you answer the call as not doing may delay your claim being processed.
When claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance you may receive text messages (SMS) from the Department for Communities (DfC). They will always be clearly marked as ‘DfC’ and will never ask you to give, or click on a link, to give personal information or financial details by message or email.
Under normal circumstances, as part of your entitlement, to ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance you would have needed to go to your JBO for an interview, where a work coach would help you draw up a 'commitment' which would set out the steps you agree to take to find work.
At the present time due to COVID-19 this interview will be carried out by telephone.
Get a proof of benefit letter for Jobseeker’s Allowance
A proof of benefit letter may be needed to access various government supports and services.
If you need proof that you are getting Jobseeker’s Allowance you can get a proof of benefit letter
If you cannot use the online service, contact Jobseeker’s Allowance by ringing the Benefits Freephone number: 0800 022 4250.
Cost of Living Support Payment
A Cost of Living Support package has been put in place for 2022 that includes one-off payments to those on income related benefits, disabled claimants and pensioners. These payments are intended to provide support with the current rise in the cost of living.
You may be eligible for one, or more, of these Cost of Living Support Payments if you get or had started a claim for Jobseeker's Allowance on 25 May 2022.
Find out more about Cost of Living support
There are circumstances when you may be paid too much benefit and you will be asked to repay this. To make a repayment contact Debt Management.
If you require further support contact Debt Management as soon as possible to discuss an affordable repayment plan and other potential options.