Getting Help using the Jobseeker’s Allowance Contact Number
Jobseeker’s Allowance (or JSA) is a state social security benefit that is designed to help with living expenses while people are not working. It is available to claimants in the United Kingdom who are unemployed and actively seeking work. This article will help you if you are looking for a contact phone number and more information about JSA.
Who should I contact for help and support?
You can find general help and support as well as answers to personal account-related questions by calling the JSA contact number listed on this page. This is a connection service which will put you directly in touch with the Jobcentre Plus. The official contact number can be found on the Gov.uk website and within the public domain.
Firstly, claimants must confirm in writing on their application form that they are actively seeking work and will attend periodic interviews and reviews. Other specific points may be included in what is known as the Jobseeker’s Agreement; it is important that the claimant understands these and, from the outset, mentions any possible difficulty such as public transport times, allergies or medical conditions which prevent certain types of work.
For help you can call the JSA contact number on 0843 168 0455. This helpline telephone number is for JSA claimants in the UK. To claim JSA, job seekers between eighteen years old and the current state pension age must meet various eligibility criteria, including not being a full-time student. However, part-time workers who work less than sixteen hours a week may apply.
What is Jobseeker’s Allowance?
In short, an unemployment benefit paid in the UK by the government. There are two types of JSA: income based (which is means tested) and contribution based (which is instead based on National Insurance contributions). Household income such as pensions, savings and family members’ or partner’s pay affects any entitlement to income-based JSA. If a partner works, this must be for less than twenty-four hours a week (on average) for you to be entitled. General information about the benefit and it’s history in the UK can be found here.
How much do you get for signing on?
Most JSA claims are based on income; self-employed workers who cease self-employment may also be able to claim. The current level of Jobseeker’s Allowance for single people aged 18 to 24 is £57.90 a week, or £73.10 if aged 25 or over. For couples and civil partnerships where both partners are 18 or older, the weekly amount is £114.85. Single parents are paid £73.10, or £57.90 if aged under 18.
Am I eligible to claim?
As far as eligibility for this benefit is concerned, the goal posts are regularly moved. You can check here for the most up to date information.
The contribution-based type of JSA is not means tested but instead based on National Insurance contributions (NICs) paid during the last two benefit years (approximately the same as a calendar year). If sufficient Class 1 NICs have been paid during the two tax years (6th April to 5th April) before the benefit year in which the JSA claim is to be made, there is an entitlement. In effect, to receive the contribution-based allowance, a recently unemployed person must have worked for twenty-six weeks in one of these two years, earned the lower-income limit for that tax year and have also paid, in total, the lower weekly earnings limit multiplied by fifty. The lower weekly earnings limit figures are published by the DWP and vary from £107 in 2012-13 to £112 in 2015-16.
The amount of allowance paid depends on personal circumstances; Northern Ireland has different rules to England, Wales and Scotland. A benefit calculator may be found online at gov.uk or advice can be obtained from the contact number for JSA claims, 0843 168 0455.
Any personal income or occupational pension over £50 per week results in deductions. The state pensions age is currently around 63 for women and 65 for men, rising to 66 within the next decade. In practice, this may mean that some older people with personal pensions do not receive JSA. Payments are also reduced for those claimants who have personal savings or disposable assets between £6,000 and £16,000. If you have more than £16,000, there is no entitlement to JSA. Additionally, people returning from abroad must live in the UK, British Isles or the Republic of Ireland for three months before claiming and without having found work.
JSA may be claimed for up to twenty-six weeks in any benefits year. After claiming the allowance, there is a seven-day waiting period before payments start. Benefits are usually paid every two weeks, directly into a bank or building society account. For those who are unable to open banking facilities, a Post Office card account is another option. Exceptionally, special arrangements may be possible. A review of the claim takes place after six weeks and thirteen weeks.
For part-time work or occasional small amounts of income, the first £5 per week is disregarded for single people and £10 a week for couples. In the case of single parents and disabled people, the amount disregarded rises to the first £20 of extra income per week. Extra income over these amounts leads to deductions.
If the job seeker does not do something that is requested by the employment coach or job scheme provider, payments can be stopped by the DWP. This is known as a sanction and can also be imposed if the claimant does not attend their Jobcentre Plus for an appointment, does not apply for jobs which he or she is told about, does not go to any interviews offered or refuses a job offer or training. Claimants are duly informed of the period for which payments will be stopped; this can vary from four weeks up to three years.
Am I eligible if I quit my last job?
JSA claimants who left their last job or training without good reason or because of unacceptable behaviour may also be sanctioned. If you feel that a mistake has been made in processing your claim correctly, or there has been a change in your claim, keep any decision letter that may have been sent to you. These letters mention whom to contact if you decide to challenge the decision, as well as any time limit (this is usually just one calendar month).
Asking for a different member of staff to review any evidence and ‘reconsider’ the decision is the first step; more evidence may be requested. You may also want to ask your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for help.
An independent tribunal hears any appeal. These appeals are separate from the office where the original decision was made; the focus is on ensuring that the rules of the benefits system have been applied correctly. When completing an appeal application form, there is a choice of a paper hearing (with evidence sent by post) or to go to a tribunal and answer questions. Attending with a representative is likely to increase the chance of success.
While the appeal process is in progress, payments are not made during the reconsideration process or during appeals against decisions about new claims. If the appeal is about a reduction in JSA, the lower rate is paid until a new decision has been made. However, a special hardship payment scheme exists if the claimant urgently needs financial support.
If you disagree with the decision of the first tribunal, there is an upper tribunal which rules only on cases where benefits law has not been followed properly. Alternatively, assistance could be requested from a local Members of Parliament. In addition, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has a complaints procedure.
Finally, for those who go abroad on holiday while claiming JSA, the entitlement is suspended or stopped while the claimant is overseas, as he or she is deemed not currently available for work in the UK. In such cases, it is advisable to close the claim before leaving – or, at least, to consult the office or claim centre beforehand.
You can call any time between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday during which time you can discuss new and existing claims, changes, complaints and any other enquiries.