5. When payment can be stopped

Your Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) payments will be stopped for a period (‘sanctioned’) if you don’t do something your work coach or employment scheme provider asks you to do - for example, if you:

  • don’t accept or keep to your Claimant Commitment
  • don’t go to a Jobcentre Plus when asked
  • turn down a job or training course
  • don’t apply for any jobs you’re told about
  • don’t take part in any interviews you’re invited to
  • don’t go to any training booked for you or take part in employment schemes
  • leave your last job or training without good reason or because of your behaviour

Contact Jobcentre Plus as soon as possible if any of these apply to you, and explain why. You may be able to keep your payment if you have good reason.

You will be told how long your payment will be stopped for. It could be between 4 weeks and 156 weeks (about 3 years).

When your claim is ended

Your JSA claim will be ended if you aren’t available for or actively seeking work. You can apply again straight away, but your payments will be stopped for a period of 4 to 13 weeks.

If your JSA payment is stopped

If your payment is stopped, you should keep looking for work. Your benefit payment could be stopped for longer if you don’t.

You should contact your local council immediately if you claim housing benefit or council tax reduction. They’ll tell you what to do to continue getting support.

Hardship funds

If your benefit payment is stopped, and you don’t have enough money to live on, you may be able to get a hardship payment. This is a reduced amount of JSA. Contact Jobcentre Plus to find out if you’re eligible.

Jobcentre Plus
Telephone: 0345 608 8545
Textphone: 0345 608 8551
Welsh language 0345 600 3018
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Further information

Find out more about JSA sanctions.