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Jobseeker's Allowance

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 7492, tabled on 4 September 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many benefit claimants have taken up the option of signing on by post in each of the last three years; and under what circumstances that option has been exercised by those claimants.

Answered on

11 September 2017

The number of benefit claimants who have taken up the option of signing on by post is in the table.

Calendar Year

Number of Postal Signers








  • Source of Information: Department for Work and Pensions Labour Market System (LMS).
  • Please note that the data supplied is derived from unpublished management information which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to national Statistics or Official Statistics publication standards. The data should therefore be treated with caution.
  • The information for 2017 is only available up to August.
  • Information is not available prior to 2015.

The circumstances in which a claimant is eligible to sign on by post are listed below:

  • The claimant has caring responsibilities and is unable to make arrangements for short-term care to cover their attendance. For example, for a child during school holidays.
  • The claimant lives more than one hour, door to door, in either direction, from the nearest Jobcentre by using public transport.
  • Attendance to sign on would result in an absence from home in excess of four hours.
  • The claimant has a mental or physical disability, which restricts their mobility.

If no public transport is available, eligibility for postal signing is determined by whether or not the claimant can reasonably be expected to walk from home to the Jobcentre in one hour. A claimant must not be asked to walk more than 3 miles. This will depend on:

  • Age
  • Health
  • The terrain over which they must walk

The information regarding the number of claimants who have signed on by post under each of the eligibility categories is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.