How do I use Jobcentre Plus?
If you'd like help to find work and think you may be eligible to claim Jobseeker's Allowance, you should contact Jobcentre Plus and tell them about your situation.
You can do this online at GOV.UK, the government services and information site, or call 0800 055 668 (telephone), 0800 023 4888 (textphone).
Make sure that you state your preferred method of communication for future contact.
What happens next?
You'll be invited to an interview with a work coach at your local Jobcentre Plus office. You must go to this interview - ask for an interpreter or other communication support if you think it's necessary.
At the interview, the work coach will help you to set work goals, and talk about how you can reach them.
Following the interview, you'll be expected to go to your local Jobcentre Plus office every two weeks to 'sign on'. Communication support is not usually provided for signing on. But it's your right to have a communication professional provided at other Jobcentre Plus appointments where face-to-face communication is needed, such as seeing your work coach or job searches.
Additional support with looking for work
If you feel you need additional support to look for work, ask to meet the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre Plus. You can ask them if there are any training courses in your area which might help you to develop your skills, and whether there are any disability-friendly employers. If a DEA is unavailable, talk to your work coach.
If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, Action on Hearing Loss can also provide additional employment support.
Help with communication support for job interviews
If you have a job interview, you can apply for an Access to Work grant to fund an interpreter or communication support (in England, Scotland and Wales). Ask your work coach at Jobcentre Plus for details of how to do this.
The 2010 Equality Act is legislation that protects people from discrimination in the workplace and wider society. If you're disabled, the Equality Act requires employers and service providers to make reasonable adjustments if you’re put at a substantial disadvantage (in comparison with people who aren’t disabled), by:
If a Jobcentre does not make reasonable adjustments to enable you to access their services, then they could be in breach of the Equality Act. You can raise this in any complaint you make (see the section about how to complain to Jobcentre Plus below).
How to complain to Jobcentre Plus
If you find that the Jobcentre Plus office you go to is failing to provide appropriate access to its services, you can find information on how to make a complaint at GOV.UK.
When you contact the Jobcentre Plus to make your complaint, you need to include the following details:
- your national insurance number
- your full name, address and contact numbers
- what happened, when it happened and how it affected you
- what you want to happen to put things right.
The complaint will need to be addressed to the Jobcentre Plus office you’re attending.
To help, we’ve created template complaint letters that you can use to raise your concerns:
- If you're not contacted by your preferred method
- If you requested communication support and it wasn't provided
- If you haven't been able to access the Disability Employment Advisor (DEA)
- If you're dissatisfied with the service you have received
For more information on benefits you may be entitled to, see our section Benefits and grants
You can also contact the following organisations: