1. Postal claimants are those who are exempt from attending the Jobcentre
for Work Search Reviews and are required to provide evidence of their
work search by post instead.
2. Postal claimants must meet the same conditions for receipt of Jobseeker’s
Allowance as claimants who are required to attend the office by showing
that they are Available for and have been Actively Seeking Work. To do
this they must provide a signed declaration and written evidence of their
Work search activity.
3. Postal claimants are
required to attend Interventions.
4. Claimants must be offered postal status if:
they have caring responsibilities and are unable to make arrangements
for short-term care to cover their attendance. For example, for a child
during school holidays.
they live more than one hour, door to door, in either direction, from the
nearest Jobcentre by using public transport.
attendance would result in an absence from home in excess of four
they have a mental or physical disability, which restricts their mobility.
5. If no public transport is available, postal status is determined by whether or
not the claimant can reasonably be expected to walk from home to the
Jobcentre in one hour. Claimants must not be asked to walk more than 3
miles. This will depend on things like:
the terrain over which they must walk
6. Rather than calculating the specific time span for each individual claimant,
decisions should be taken locally on which areas are beyond the one
hour/four hour limits.
One hour travel
7. The one hour travel criteria are calculated from door to door, home to
office, or office to home, with each way classed as a separate journey. If
either journey takes longer than one hour, the claimant qualifies for postal
status. The criteria are also based on public transport, as the availability
of personal transport may vary throughout the course of a claim.
claimant leaves home at 9.00am
bus is due at nearest bus stop at 9.10am
bus is due to arrive at Any Town Bus Depot at 9.50am
claimant walks to Jobcentre and arrives at 9.55am
outward travelling time = 55 minutes
walking time from Jobcentre to bus depot is five minutes
next available bus is due to leave depot at 11.00am
bus is due at nearest bus stop to claimant’s home at 11.50am
walking time from bus stop to home is ten minutes
return travelling time = one hour five minutes
total time away from home = 3 hours.
8. In this example, the claimant qualifies for postal status on the basis of the
Four hours absence
9. The four hours absence criteria are based on the time from leaving home
to returning home.
claimant leaves home at 8.00am
only bus available in the morning is due at nearest bus stop at 8.10am
bus is due to arrive at Any Town Bus Depot at 8.50am
claimant walks to the Jobcentre and arrives at 8.55am
outward travelling time = 55 minutes
walking time from Jobcentre to bus depot is five minutes
next available bus is due to leave at 12.00 noon
bus is due at nearest bus stop to claimant’s home at 12.40pm
walking time from bus stop to home is ten minutes
claimant due to arrive home at 12.50pm
return travelling time = 55 minutes
total time away from home = 4 hours 50 minutes
10. In this example, the claimant qualifies for postal status under the four
hours absence criteria, as they would have to be absent from home for a
total of four hours and 50 minutes, in order to attend the Jobcentre.
Claimant requests postal status
11. If a claimant requests postal status and they meet the eligibility criteria, it
should be explained to them that they must fulfil the same availability and
actively seeking employment conditions for the receipt of Jobseeker's
12. If it is determined that the claimant is eligible for postal status they must
issued with a postal declaration form ES24PJP, to cover the first period
issued with a postal work search activity log ES10JP, or blank ‘my
actions for getting work’ templates
informed of the address to which their postal declarations must be sent.
A suggested good practice is to issue the claimant with a letter detailing
the process for returning mail with a typed note of the address
informed that they are responsible for the postage cost
Work Search Reviews for postal claimants
13. Good quality Work Search Reviews are important for postal claimants, to
ensure that their search for work remains focused and effective, despite
the reduction in face to face contact.
Receiving and checking the postal declaration
14. Each fortnight, the claimant must submit a postal declaration (ES24PJP or
blank ‘my actions for getting work’ template ) to confirm their
unemployment and provide written evidence of their work search activity.
15. It is the claimant’s responsibility to ensure their declaration and work
search evidence is received on time. Any delays will result in their
payment being released late.
16. The signature on the declaration should be checked to ensure that it
matches with that on the ES80JP Labour Market Unit as per the
Confirming Attendance guidance.
17. The date of the declaration was received in the Mail Opening Unit (MOU)
must also be checked.
18. If the MOU date stamp is within 5 working days of the claimant’s period
ending date but the declaration is not signed and / or is not dated correctly,
or there is evidence that the claimant has sent it at a wrong time, further
action is required. If the declaration:
is not signed –
the declaration is returned to the claimant with a letter
explaining that they must sign and return it immediately. The claimant
is given a discretionary 5 working days to return the signed declaration
to the MOU. If it is not received in the MOU within the 5 working days,
the claim is terminated up to the day they last provided a signed
is dated earlier than the period ending date
– a further declaration is
sent to the claimant with a letter explaining the need to complete it for
the correct period. If it is not received in the MOU within 5 working days
from their benefit period ending date, the claim is terminated up to the
day on the declaration received early, provided the work search
evidence is sufficient
is dated later than the period ending date and date stamped within
5 days of the period ending date
– an attempt to contact the claimant
must be made on the day the declaration is received, as they only have
5 working days from their benefit period ending date in which to show
good reason for providing this information late
if contact is made, their reason(s) for providing the declaration late
if contact is not made, a letter is issued to the claimant advising them
to contact the Jobcentre urgently. The date the claim will be
terminated, if the claimant does not make contact, should be
detailed on the letter
if the claimant’s reply is not received in the MOU within five working
days from the period ending date, the claim is terminated. The date
of termination will be the day after the last declaration ended
Postal declaration received in the MOU within 5 days of the period
19. If the declaration was not received on the day it would normally be
received but is received within five working days of the benefit period
ending date and is dated correctly then, in the absence of any other
information, such as a post marked envelope, the declaration should be
considered to be on time and the claimant’s work search evidence
reviewed as normal.
Postal declaration not received in the Jobcentre within 8 working
days of the period ending date
20. To allow for the declaration to be delivered to the Jobcentre, no action is
necessary until 8 working days after the benefit period ending date if it is
not received earlier. If the declaration is not received by the eighth
working day, the claim is terminated from the day they last provided a
21. A call should be made to the claimant to inform them that:
their benefit claim has been terminated and that they will need to make
a new claim if they wish to continue receiving benefit
they will need to attend an Initial Work Search Interview if they make a
if they wish to make a backdated claim they must complete a JSA5
Postal declaration received after the claim has been terminated
22. If the declaration was signed on the correct date and there is evidence to
suggest that the reason for it not being received in the MOU within 5
working days was due to the postal service, the claimant must be
contacted to advise that their claim has been closed and that they will
need to make a new claim and that the decision to close the claim will be
Conducting the Work Search Review for postal claimants
23. A Work Search Review is conducted for Postal claimants by reviewing the
written evidence provided, in order to be assured that they have
undertaken sufficient work search activity to satisfy the requirements of
receiving Jobseeker's Allowance. Written evidence may be provided on a
Postal Work search Activity Stencil (ES10JP), blank ‘my actions for getting
work’ templates or some other document(s).
24. If any of the following are identified during the review or as a result of a
telephone call the appropriate action should be taken to follow-up or make
any difficulties they may be having with their work search
they may require additional support
a change in circumstances
they are starting or have undertaken part-time work
Work search evidence provided sufficient
25. If the claimant has satisfied the conditions for receipt of Jobseeker’s
Allowance and provided an appropriately signed and dated declaration,
Jobseeker’s Allowance Payment System Dialogue JA470 is updated (and
if appropriate, Dialogue JA504 to confirm payment details are held).
26. The outcome of the review is recorded on the claimant’s LMS record.
Work search evidence provided insufficient
27. If the claimant has not
satisfied the conditions for receipt of Jobseeker’s
Allowance, an attempt must be made to contact them by telephone.
Contact is made
28. If contact is made, any additional work search action should be identified
and reviewed to determine if they have satisfied the conditions for receipt
of Jobseeker’s Allowance
29. Consideration should be given to whether the claimant can provide
sufficient information so that we can be reasonably sure that they have
done what they have claimed.
30. If the claimant cannot show that they have undertaken sufficient work
search activity to satisfy the conditions for receipt of Jobseeker’s
Allowance, the reason(s) must be identified and considered.
31. If the reason(s) are acceptable, the doubt can be treated as
straightforward. For example, if the review period included a Bank
Holiday, domestic emergency, or other circumstances that reduced the
claimant’s ability to undertake work search activity.
32. If the reason(s) cannot be accepted, consideration of Labour Market
Decision Maker’s action should be made by an appropriate Band C.
33. If it is identified that the claimant’s failure to satisfy the conditions for
receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance was because their Claimant Commitment
is no longer appropriate, a Follow up Work Search Interview should be
booked to review it.
Contact cannot be made
34. If contact cannot be made, a Follow up Work Search Interview/Flexible
Intervention should be booked to review their availability, work search
activity and Claimant Commitment. An interview letter should be posted to
the claimant and normal failure to attend action taken if they do not attend.
Claimant with caring responsibilities for a child (children) fails to
provide a signed declaration
35. If a claimant with caring responsibilities for a child (children) fails to provide
a declaration, an attempt must be made to contact them on the day that
their declaration should have been received. If contact is made, they
should be asked if they wish to continue claiming and if so, why a
declaration was not submitted.
36. If the claimant wishes to continue claiming their reason(s) for providing
their declaration late are considered.
37. If contact cannot be made, a letter is issued, advising the claimant to make
contact within five working days of their period ending date and that their
benefit claim will be terminated if they do not.
38. If the claimant does not reply within five working days of their period
ending date the claim is terminated. The date of termination will be the
day after the last declaration ended.
Interventions for postal claimants
39. There is no set frequency that postal claimants must attend interventions.
Their requirement to attend should be based on their labour market needs
and the discretion of the Jobcentre.
40. Interventions for postal claimants should be booked as Follow up Work
Search Interviews and where possible, arranged on the claimant’s period
41. These interviews should take place in the Jobcentre, although certain
claimants could be interviewed in their village hall or community centre.
whose attendance would result in an absence from home of more than
with a disability or health problem which severely limits their mobility
42. Where possible, interviews held away from the Jobcentre should be co-
ordinated for cost effectiveness.
43. If the claimant is part of a joint claim, separate interventions must be
arranged for each claimant. They can choose to attend each other’s
44. Postal claimants attending Initial Work Search Interviews and Follow up
Work Search Interviews/Flexible Interventions must have their Travel
45. In addition to the reason for the interview, the following actions should be
a check to whether their circumstances have changed and appropriate
a check of any existing forms that need renewing
a re-emphasis of the conditions for receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Particularly those relating to Availability and Actively Seeking
a fresh supply of blank ‘my actions for getting work’ templates issued, if
if everything is straightforward:
attendance is confirmed
LMS is updated
Claimant fails to attend an interview
Notification to attend was received
46. If a claimant fails to attend an interview and any of the following apply
failure to attend action is taken:
the interview letter was issued by hand
the interview letter was issued by recorded delivery and signed for
a conversation is recorded on LMS to confirm that the claimant was
Notification to attend was not received
47. If a claimant fails to attend an interview and the interview letter was not
issued by hand and no record is held to confirm that the claimant was
aware of the interview, an attempt to contact the claimant must be made,
to check that:
the letter was received
it was posted to the correct address
48. If the letter was not received, or was sent to the wrong address, a new
interview is arranged and the claimant notified verbally and a record of this
made on LMS. An interview letter is also issued, confirming the interview.
49. If the claimant confirms that the letter was received but failed to attend the
interview, failure to attend action is taken.
50. If the claimant cannot be contacted by telephone, a new appointment is
arranged and the letter posted by recorded delivery.
Telephone interventions for postal claimants
51. In addition to the interventions for postal claimants referred to in the
previous paragraphs, Jobcentres may also use telephone interventions
where it is determined that the claimant’s labour market needs require
more frequent contacts.
52. In which case, a Follow up Work Search Interview must be booked using
one of the Flexible Intervention JSA Tel Interview Types referred to at
paragraph 52 in the Performance Team Leader Manual. Fail to Attend
(FTA) action does not apply to telephone interventions, but you must
consider arranging a face to face Intervention if contact is not made with
the claimant over the telephone at the pre-arranged time.
Change to the JSA Claimant Commitment (JSACC) identified
during a telephone intervention
53. If it becomes clear during a telephone intervention that a change is
required to the JSACC, you must create the JSACC using the signature
override function in the Signature Capture Service (SCS) described at
paragraphs 52 to 56 in the SCS User Instructions for Jobcentres. The
‘Enable Override’ field defaults to ‘No Override’. Therefore, you must
choose the ‘ID Confirmed – Other’ reason and enter ‘postal tel intw’ in the
free-text field as the reason for the override.
54. You must also select the Treat as Made (TAM) date as the date of the
telephone intervention. This is because SCS requires you to enter a TAM
date in order to complete the JSACC. You must then print two copies.
However, you must cross out the TAM date entered on both printed
copies and add your initials at the side of the amendment because in these
cases, the TAM date must be the date on which it has been signed by the
55. Therefore, you must tell the claimant:
you will post two copies of the JSACC to them today by recorded
delivery and this will include a business reply envelope;
they must keep one copy and sign and date the other, making sure the
claimant understands the date they enter on the JSACC must be the
date they actually sign it NOT the date of the telephone intervention.
This is important because this will be the date that the JSACC will be
treated as made on and therefore the date on which the JSACC comes
into force; and
they must use the business reply envelope to return the signed copy of
the JSACC within 14 days of the date of the telephone interview and
explain if they do not do this, they will be required to attend an
interview described in paragraphs 59 to 61 in order to discuss the
JSACC agreed during the telephone interview.
56. The revised JSACC is not valid unless it has been signed by both the
Work Coach and the claimant. Therefore, until the claimant has signed
and returned the JSACC, the previous JSACC remains in force. This
means any Decision Making and Appeals (DMA) action cannot be taken
on the revised JSACC until it has been signed and returned by the
Claimant signs and returns the JSACC
57. If the claimant signs and returns the JSACC, you must record the TAM
date as the date the claimant has signed it next to where you crossed out
the TAM date recorded by SCS and initial the amendment.
58. Arrange for this copy to be scanned and then uploaded into the Document
Repository Service (DRS).
Claimant does not sign and return the JSACC
59. If the claimant fails to sign and return the JSACC, you must arrange a face
to face intervention by booking a Follow up Work Search Interview as soon
60. During this interview, you must access the JSACC in SCS that was agreed
during the telephone interview and ask the claimant if they have any
issues or concerns about it. If, after viewing/printing the JSACC described
at paragraph 39 in the SCS Claimant Commitment user Instructions for
Jobcentres the claimant says they have no issues or concerns with the
content, you must record the TAM date as the date of the interview and
arrange for it to be signed and printed using SCS in the usual way
ensuring that the claimant is given a copy to keep for their own records.
61. If the claimant says they have issues or concerns with the content of the
JSACC, every effort must be made to resolve any issues, before making a
referral to the Labour Market Decision Maker.