Jobseekers Allowance, or JSA, is a UK government benefit to financially support people trying to find employment. The DWP administers the benefit through Jobcentres. There are two types of JSA, but the newer benefit Universal Credit is gradually replacing them. Recipients need to attend appointments to “sign on” for JSA and meet the conditions of their claimant commitment agreement to keep receiving it. Should you decide that you no longer want or need to claim JSA, then you will need to cancel your claim. Follow this guide to find out how to cancel Jobseekers Allowance without causing problems for yourself.
Cancel by Telephone
1) The fastest method of cancelling JSA is to call the DWP on the phone. Call 0800 055 6688 and listen to the recorded messages, then press 1 to continue when it tells you to do so. Unfortunately, there will be further messages to listen through before you should press 1 again to continue. When it gets around to asking you why you are calling, say “Jobseekers Allowance” clearly. Or just wait for the numbered options and press 2.
2) When you do get through to a human being, explain that you want to cancel your Jobseekers Allowance. Before you can do this, you will have to provide several details to confirm your identity. This will include your National Insurance Number, date of birth, address, and phone number. Once you can prove that you are the claimant, you can specify the reason for closing your claim. You can only call within 7 days of the termination date that you want the cancellation to be effective from. If you have an appointment before this date, then they will tell you that you still need to attend in order to avoid sanctions on your account.
3) Be aware that the DWP can apply sanctions for failing to notify them of changes in your circumstances in a reasonable amount of time. If you continue to receive your JSA when your entitlement is not the same, then you may have to pay some of it back as well. This is why you should call to let them know the correct date that your entitlement will end if you are cancelling because of starting a job or changing your mind. You should still receive a JSA payment for the amount due up until the termination date when you cancel.
Unless you have a Universal Credit account, you cannot cancel a claim online. To cancel JSA online, you can only send an e-mail to the general address, which is email@example.com. They will forward it to the relevant benefits centre to deal with. However, this can take much more time than a phone call, and they may also not accept it as enough evidence without speaking to you in person. If you fail to attend your appointments while your e-mail is processing then you could receive sanctions as well. This may not seem like such a problem if you are leaving JSA anyway, but it could cause issues if you end up returning to claim JSA again at a later date. Include your contact number in the e-mail so that they can phone you to discuss closing your JSA claim. They might ask for further evidence in order to cancel your Jobseekers Allowance.
Cancel by Post
If you no longer want to receive JSA or you know that your circumstances mean that you will no longer be eligible to claim this benefit, then you can write to the DWP and inform them by post. The best way to do this is to send a letter to your local Jobcentre office which handles your claim. You can find the address by searching for your postcode here and viewing the details for the office where you attend appointments.
If you do write a letter, include your National Insurance Number, name, address, and phone number in it. You should also include the details of your change of circumstances which require you to cancel the claim. This could be the date that you are starting a new job or educational course, or simply because you do not want to interact with the Jobcentre or DWP anymore. You should send copies of evidence such as a letter offering employment or a doctor’s note for ill health. Send the letter in the post or drop it off at the office of your local Jobcentre if you do not want to pay for postage. Alternatively, you can attend an appointment and inform your work coach that you will not be coming to sign on anymore and want to end your claim.