Jobseeker's Benefit is a payment for people between 18 and 66 years of age 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 Short Time Work Support under the Jobseeker’s Benefit scheme for the other 2 days. Short-Time Work must be systematic and must show a clear repetitive pattern of employment and you must work at least 1 day in each week.
Jobseeker's Benefit is paid for 6 months or 9 months depending on the number of social insurance contributions you have paid.
From January 30 2023 we have returned to the requirement that all people applying for a Jobseeker's Benefit payment have authenticated their identity to SAFE Level 2 before their claim can be paid.
This means that we must have established and verified your identity to a satisfactory level.
This applies to both online and paper Jobseeker’s Benefit applications.
If you are already verified at SAFE Level 2, you will be able to access online services through your verified MyGovID account.
To get to SAFE Level 2, you must attend your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office to complete your registration. Once you have completed the SAFE Level 2 registration process, you may get your account verified. This will give you access to all online services through your MyGovID account which includes applying for a jobseeker’s payment.
To qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit, you must:
You can work for up to 3 days a week and still get Jobseeker’s Benefit for the other days if you are available for full-time work.
To qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit, you must satisfy two main PRSI contribution conditions.
You must have paid at least 104 PRSI insurable employment contributions at Class A, H or P,
You must have paid at least 156 PRSI self-employment contributions at Class S.
You must have either:
39 PRSI contributions paid from employment or credited 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 2022, the governing contribution year is 2020.
26 PRSI contributions paid in the governing contribution year and 26 paid in the year immediately before this.
Your rate of payment will depend on your average weekly earnings in the governing contribution year.
The current rates are as follows:
|Jobseeker's Benefit Rates||Rate|
|Full weekly payment||€220.00|
|Extra payment for qualified adult||€146.00|
|Extra payment for qualified child under 12||€42.00 (full-rate), €21.00 (half-rate)|
|Extra payment for qualified child 12 and over||€50.00 (full rate), €25.00 (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||€98.70|
|€150 or above but less than €220||€141.90|
|€220 or above but less than €300||€172.30|
|€300 or more||€220.00|
You may get an increased rate of payment for a qualified adult and qualified children.
The maximum rate of payment of Jobseekers Benefit is payable to all customers aged 65 years. Graduated rates do not apply. Similarly, if you are entitled to an increase for a qualified adult, the maximum Increase for a Qualified Adult is payable. Tapered IQA rates continue to apply where the qualified adult has income from employment, self-employment, capital, investments, and so on.
However, if you take up some part-time employment at age 65, you are paid for the days of unemployment using the maximum rate of Jobseeker’s Benefit.
Jobseeker’s Benefit is paid weekly in arrears. All jobseeker’s are paid weekly to their local post office except if you are working part-time or short-time or if you are over 62.
If you work on a casual basis, your payment will be made into a financial institution or by cheque for administrative reasons.
A new statutory rental disregard of up to €269.23 per week (€14,000 per year) has been introduced and came into effect from the 12 July 2022. It applies where an increase for a qualified adult is paid, in respect of rental income from renting out a room(s) in your home to someone who is not an employee or an immediate family member. See Increase for a Qualified Adult Operational Guidelines for more details.
If you are over the age of 62 and receiving a jobseeker’s payment, you do not have to:
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.
You will not qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit if you are absent from the state, unless one of the following exceptions applies to you:
If you are in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit and are aged under 65 years, you may be absent from the state for up to two weeks in a calendar year.
From 30 September 2022, if you are aged 65 years and in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit, you may be temporarily absent from the State for longer than 2 weeks in a calendar year.
However, the absence must be temporary, and you must not engage in gainful employment or self-employment while absent from the State.
If you are aged 65 years, you can be absent from the State on a temporary basis for any duration during the lifetime of your claim. This includes your qualified adult. You are required to inform the Department of your intention to leave the State and you must give an approximate return date. The UP30b – Absent from the State form, must be completed but payment may continue to issue to you for the duration of your absence.
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.
If you have a verified MyGovID account you can apply online on MyWelfare.ie
If you have a basic MyGovID account and a Public Services Card, you can verify your account on MyGovID.ie.
If you are unable to apply online and would like an application form to be posted to you, please email BP65forms@welfare.ie including your full name, address and the name of the form.
You can also apply for Jobseeker’s Benefit by going to your local Intreo Centre or Branch Office.
To apply, you will need the following documents along with the application form:
You should apply as soon as you become unemployed otherwise you could lose some payment.
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 12 months since your last claim), you complete a repeat claim form known as a UP6.
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.
Your employer needs to complete the UP80 form below. This form can be downloaded and filled in from a device. When your employer completes the form you need to return it to your local Intreo Centre
Employer Declaration: Casual/Part-time/Short-time Employment (UP80)
Updated: August 2021
You can now declare the days you are working and not working on-line through www.MyWelfare.ie This means you will not have to submit paper dockets each week to your local Intreo Centre/Social Welfare Branch Office.
Please see our guide to part-time/casual/short-time work online certification for further information.
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 describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.