How to claim Jobseeker's Allowance

Updated July 20, 2017

The Jobseeker's Allowance benefits eligible people living in the United Kingdom while they are out of work or work less than 16 hours per week. There are two types to apply for: the contribution-based allowance or the income-based allowance. A qualifying person must be between the age of 18 and the state pension age and agree to actively seek work. Applications are available online and by telephone. After completing the online form, you will be asked to attend an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus office.

As soon as your employment ends, complete the online Jobseeker's Allowance application at You will be asked your National Insurance number and past employment history. Jobseeker's Allowance will be paid directly into your bank, so have your banking information with you when you apply.

Shortly after your online application is completed, you will have a phone interview or a person-to-person interview at your Jobcentre. You will be advised on the steps that you will agree to in order to find work. Bring proper identification such as your driver's license or a utility bill. You will be asked for your work availability. You will receive information on resources to help you find work.

Continue to attend regular job search reviews as required by Jobcentre Plus.


You may also apply by telephone by calling the Jobcentre Office, 0800 055 6688.

Things You'll Need

  • National Insurance number
  • Banking information
  • Recent past employment history
  • Pay slips
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