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How to reclaim JSA

This advice applies to Scotland

If you've had Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in the last 26 weeks (6 months) you might be able to do a shorter application - this is called a 'rapid reclaim'. For example, if you were previously claiming JSA and then got a job that didn't work out.

If your circumstances have changed since your last claim you'll need to do a full application instead. For example if you've moved house or got married.

Check which type of JSA to reclaim

You'll need to check which type of JSA to claim  before you reapply. This affects the way you'll reapply, and you might not be able to get the same type of JSA as before. 

If you're still eligible for the same type, you'll be able to do a rapid reclaim. If you need to apply for a different type, do a full application.

If you're applying for new style JSA, you'll need to check if you're in a live service area or a full service area for Universal Credit. How you reapply depends on the area you live in.

If you're reclaiming within 12 weeks of your previous claim ending, you might be able to link the claims. This means that you won't have to wait 7 days before you get JSA.

Do your rapid reclaim

You have to apply on GOV.UK if you're reapplying for:

  • contribution-based JSA
  • income-based JSA
  • new style JSA in a full service area

If you don't have internet access, try to apply from somewhere else. For example at the library or a friend's house. You might also be able to use a computer at your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you can't apply online

You can apply by phone but you'll have to explain why you can't apply online.

Make a note of the date and time you call the claim line. Also write down the name of the person you spoke to. You might need these details if you need to prove when you started your rapid reclaim.

If you're reclaiming contribution or income-based JSA

You should call:

Jobcentre Plus claim line
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Textphone: 0800 023 4888

Calls to this number are free.

If you're reclaiming new style JSA in a full service area

You should call:

UC helpline (full service area)
Telephone: 0345 600 4272
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Textphone: 0345 600 0743

Calls cost up to 45p a minute from mobiles and up to 12p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you call from your mobile and have landline calls included in your contract.

If you're reclaiming new style JSA in a live service area you'll need to reclaim by phone.

UC helpline (live service area)
Telephone: 0345 600 0723
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Textphone: 0345 600 0743

Calls cost up to 45p a minute from mobiles and up to 12p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you call from your mobile and have landline calls included in your contract.

Make a note of the date and time you call the claim line. Also write down the name of the person you spoke to. You might need these details if you need to prove when you started your rapid reclaim.

What happens next

You'll get a text or phone call inviting you to an interview at the Jobcentre to finish your claim. If you don't hear about this after 2  working days, call your local Jobcentre.

You should plan for your interview by thinking about the job hunting and working arrangements that will be suitable for you.

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