Jobseeker's Allowance is a means-tested scheme. Whether you qualify depends on your income and whether you are habitually resident in Ireland (in other words, you live here and have close links to Ireland).
How to qualify
To qualify for Jobseeker's Allowance, you must:
satisfy a means test
be habitually resident in Ireland
be capable of work
be available for full-time work
be genuinely seeking work
be fully or partly unemployed (at least 4 days out of work in every 7)
If you are self-employed, the last condition does not apply.
You can work for up to 3 days a week and may still get Jobseeker’s Allowance for the other days. If you are getting Jobseeker’s Allowance, you can use a benefit of work estimator
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).
A means test
is an assessment of all of your household income, savings, shares, investments or property that you own apart from your own home. Your means test will also include any income that your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has.
The department adds your income from all sources (including your income from work), and, from this, calculates the means you have each week. Your means is used to work out the amount you may receive.
Rates of payment
Your rate of payment will depend on your income and the outcome of the means assessment. If you have no means, are aged 25 or over, and you are single, you will get the full weekly payment of €203.
An increase is payable for each child dependant if you are getting an increase for a qualified adult. If you do not qualify for an increase for a qualified adult, you may get a half-rate increase for a qualified child dependant.
The rate for qualified adult has been temporarily increased to €147
as part of the Governments income support plans announced on the 24th March. These rates are extended until 5 August.
Jobseeker's Allowance Rates
Rate from January 2020
Full personal payment (25 or over)
Personal Rate 18-24
Extra payment for qualified adult
Extra payment for qualified adult (18-24)
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)
Some jobseekers aged 18 to 24 can qualify for full rate Jobseeker’s Allowance. Details are in the link below.
If you are an employee paying a Class A social insurance 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.
It is recommended that you apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance as soon as possible after you become unemployed.
The quickest way to apply for Jobseeker's Allowance is through mywelfare
. You must have a verified MyGovID
to use this service.
Bring all documentation to your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office
when you attend to make your claim. 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).