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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.

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

There are special provisions for older jobseekers as retirement approaches.

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
  • be available for full-time work
  • be genuinely seeking work
  • have had a substantial loss of employment (at least 4 days out of work in 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.

If you are getting Jobseeker’s Benefit, you can use a Benefit of Work Ready Reckoner to see how taking up full-time work would affect the amount you would get.

The Reckoner works out the total amount you would get if you take up full-time work (including any Working Family Payment) and compares this to what you are getting in jobseeker payments (including Rent Supplement).

Social insurance (PRSI) contributions

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

Condition 1

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

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, 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.

    Jobseeker's Benefit Rates Rate from March 2019
    Full weekly payment (26 or over) €203
    Extra payment for qualified adult €134.70
    Extra payment for qualified child under 12 €34.00 (full-rate), €17.00 (half-rate)
    Extra payment for **qualified child 12 and over €37.00 (Full rate), €18.50 (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 and have at least 156 social insurance (PRSI) contribution weeks paid and have 39 PRSI contributions paid or credited in the governing contribution year or 26 PRSI contributions paid in the governing contribution year and 26 paid in the year immediately before this (see condition 2 above), you can 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 years old and receive a State Pension if you satisfy all of the qualifying conditions to receive a pension.

Please see Missing link item! 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

To apply, please fill in the application form below and bring it to your local Intreo Centre or 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

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

Apply with MyWelfare

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

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