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Jobseeker's Benefit

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What Jobseeker's Benefit is

Jobseeker's Benefit is a payment for people between 18 and 66 who become fully or partly unemployed and have paid enough pay-related social insurance (PRSI) contributions.

If you are temporarily placed on a shorter working week, for example, your working week has been reduced from a 5 day work pattern to a 3 day work pattern, you can receive support under the Short Time Work Support under the Jobseeker’s benefit scheme for the other 2 days.

Jobseeker's Benefit is paid for nine months or six months depending on the number of social insurance contributions you have.

How to qualify

To qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit, you must:

  • be fully or partly unemployed
  • be under 66 years of age
  • be capable of work and be available for full-time work
  • be genuinely seeking work
  • be unemployed for at least 4 days out of every 7
  • have enough paid or credited social insurance (PRSI) contributions at class A, H or P

You can work for up to 3 days a week and still get Jobseeker’s Benefit for the other days as long as you are available for full-time work.

Social insurance (PRSI) contributions

To qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit, you must satisfy two main PRSI contribution conditions.

Condition 1

You must have paid at least 104 PRSI insurable employment contributions at Class A, H or P,

or

You must have paid at least 156 PRSI self-employment contributions at Class S.

Condition 2

You must have either:

39 PRSI contributions paid from employment in the governing contribution year. At least 13 of these contributions must be paid from employment in the governing contribution year, the two years before this, the last year or the current tax year.

The governing contribution year is the second last complete tax year before the year in which the claim is made. For example, for claims made in 2019, the governing contribution year is 2017.

or

26 PRSI contributions paid in the governing contribution year and 26 paid in the year immediately before this.

Rates of payment

Your rate of payment will depend on your average weekly earnings in the governing contribution year.

The rate for qualified adult has been temporarily increased to €147 from €134.70 for a 12 week period as part of the Governments income support plans announced on the 24th March. These rates will expire on the week of the 15th June.

    Jobseeker's Benefit Rates Rate from January 2020
    Full weekly payment €203
    Extra payment for qualified adult €147
    Extra payment for qualified child under 12 €36.00 (full-rate), €18.00 (half-rate)
    Extra payment for qualified child 12 and over €40.00 (full rate), €20.00 (half rate)

If you were working part-time during the governing contribution year and your average earnings were less than €300 a week, you will not qualify for the full rate of payment.

Please see the tables below for details on the reduced rates of payment.

    Average weekly earnings Personal rate of payment
    Less than €150 €91.10
    €150 or above but less than €220 €131
    €220 or above but less than €300 €159
    €300 or more €203

You may get an increased rate of payment for a qualified adult and qualified children.

Jobseekers over 62

If you are over the age of 62 and receiving a jobseeker’s payment, you do not have to:

In most cases, you can have your payment paid directly to a bank account.

Jobseekers over 65

If you are over 65 or turn 65 while receiving Jobseeker's Benefit you may continue to receive your payment up to your 66th birthday. This applies even if your claim is due to end before that date.

Working when retired

You can continue to work after you turn 66 and receive a State Pension if you satisfy all of the qualifying conditions to receive a pension.

Please see State Pension (Contributory) and State Pension (Non-contributory) for more information on how to qualify for these payments.

If you are an employee paying a Class A social insurance (PRSI) contribution, ask your employer to change this to Class J when you turn 66.

Your payslip will tell you which class of PRSI contribution you pay.

If you are self-employed paying a Class S social insurance contribution, you should pay PRSI at Class M after your 66th birthday.

Apply

Apply with MyWelfare

The quickest way to apply for Jobseeker's Benefit is through MyWelfare mywelfare You must have a verified MyGovID MyGovID to use this service.

If you are unable to apply online, please fill in the application form below and bring it to your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office when you attend to make your claim.

You should apply as soon as you become unemployed otherwise you could lose some payment.

To apply, you will need the following documents along with the application form:

  • identification – your public service card, passport or driving licence
  • proof of your address – a utility bill or letter from a government department

Documentation checklist when applying for Jobseeker's Benefit

If you are making a repeat claim (less than 6 months since your last claim), you should complete a repeat claim form known as a UP 6.

Application Form: Repeat Claim for Jobseeker's (UP6)

If you are making a repeat claim (less than 6 months since your last claim), you complete a repeat claim form known as a UP6.

Download

You can apply even if you do not have all of the documents but you cannot get a decision on your application until you have provided all of the documents.

Application Form: Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit (UP1)

Application form for Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit (UP1).

Download

Appeals

You can appeal a decision if you are unhappy with it. You should appeal within 21 days of the decision and you can ask for an oral hearing.

An appeals officer, whose decision is final, will then decide your case. Some cases can be decided without an oral hearing.

If new information comes to light or your circumstances change, you can apply for Jobseeker's Benefit again.

Operational Guidelines

Operational guidelines describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.