- So, you want a nice easy time with all your bills paid for at public expense? A life of
- leisure on JSA can be yours if you follow some easy steps and keep to some basic rules.
- APPLYING FOR JOBSEEKER'S ALLOWANCE
- JSA applications are now mostly processed online through DirectGov. You will need your NI
- number (if you haven't memorised it already, you'll know it soon enough), some basic
- information about anyone who has employed you since April 6 before last, and if you're
- living by yourself some information about your home. If you have all this, and you haven't
- put the mouse in your mouth, then you'll be done in about 15 minutes. If you are living
- with someone living as your partner, you'll need them to help you out, and things will take
- a little longer. Once your application is in, if you've given them a mobile number then
- you'll get an SMS in short order telling you the time of your appointment. (Get used to
- this. DWP like to be in charge of the timescale.)
- That's your application done. Welcome to the machine, kid.
- Once that's done, take some steps to prepare yourself. Touch up your CV (if you're somewhat
- professional, put together both a "career" CV and something more general, since you'll be
- applying for both types of work). Keep an eye out for some vacancies. You'll find out why
- YOUR JOBSEEKER'S AGREEMENT
- At your first appointment, someone will walk through the fine details of your claim, and set
- up your initial Jobseeker's Agreement (or JSAg for short). There are statutory minimums for
- this. They will be that you take three steps in each week towards "finding work". The
- steps do not have to be successful, but they do have to be of the nature of "finding".
- Looking in the newspaper and finding nothing is "finding", applying for a job is not. Try
- to avoid being suckered into a JSAg that is much beyond this minimum. Exceeding your target
- comes with no tangible benefit, but neither does it cost you anything; on the other hand,
- failing to meet your target leaves you open to sanctions. You will sign on fortnightly, but
- your targets apply week-to-week.
- You will be asked to agree to contact a number of employers by various contact methods - by
- email, by telephone, in writing and in person. These are mutually exclusive - a contact by
- email does not count as an approach in writing. If you can, agree figures of 0 for in
- writing and 0 for in person. Most employers now do everything by email and phone - an "in
- writing" approach is wasted postage and delays your application, and not all vacancies are
- suitable for a visit in person. Remember, the target is a threshold for you to get paid,
- nothing more. If you are over your targets, nobody will bat an eyelid, and you and they
- will be out of each other's hair that much more quickly.
- Finally, you will be given a date for your first signing-on. You must declare that you have been seeking work from the start of your claim to that date. This appointment can be as close as the day after your initial appointment, hence the need to prepare.
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