Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) Claimant Commitment

The claimant commitment is a new form of the Jobseeker’s Agreement that came into effect in 2013 for the majority of Jobseekers and outlines what jobseeking actions a claimant must carry out while receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

It emphasises claimants’ responsibility to do all they can to look for work in return for the support they receive from the state.

You will have to sign a claimant commitment if you make a new claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or complete the Work Programme.

This is an agreement that you’ll complete certain tasks in order to claim JSA. You and your adviser will agree what goes in your Claimant Commitment, e.g:

  • what you need to do to look for work (eg registering with recruitment agencies, writing a CV)
  • how many hours you need to spend looking for work each week
  • your circumstances (eg work history, health, family or caring responsibilities)

Your benefit might be cut if you don’t do what you’ve agreed to in your claimant commitment, which is unique to you and can be updated if circumstances change.

Job Seeker's Allowance Claimant Commitment under 18

The claimant commitment was introduced for those who are under 18 and making a claim for JSA on 9 June 2014. The claimant commitment for under 18s has been specifically tailored and so includes training etc.

Plan and record your job seeking

You will be given a My Work and Training Plan booklet which is your detailed plan of actions you need to take to meet the claimant commitment to maintain entitlement to JSA.

You will record each day:

  • all of your training
  • all of your work searches
  • all your work preparation activities.

You will need to bring this with you when you visit the Jobcentre Plus.

Appeals and complaints

You can appeal against the decision about your JSA if you’re unhappy with it, your case will then be referred by your work coach to a decision maker. You can complain about Jobcentre Plus if you’re unhappy with the service you’ve received.

When your JSA can be stopped

Your JSA could be stopped as a penalty (known as a sanction) for example if you:

  • don’t go to a Jobcentre Plus when asked
  • turn down a job or training
  • don’t apply for any jobs
  • don’t go to any training booked for you
  • leave your job or training without a good reason or because of your behaviour.

A Jobcentre Plus adviser can tell you how long your JSA will be stopped for. It could be up to 3 years.

You may get hardship payments if you’re suffering financial hardship - check with the Jobcentre.

More information can be found in a leaflet on Job Seeker's Allowance and the Claimant Commitment or on the government website.