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Jobseeker's Allowance

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What Jobseeker's Allowance is

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).

If you become unemployed in older age, you can apply for Jobseeker's Allowance.

There are special provisions for older jobseekers.

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)

Note: If you are self-employed, the last condition does not apply.

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

Means test

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 cohabiting partner 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 what payment 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 26 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.

    Jobseeker's Allowance 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)

The amount that you will receive will be less than this if you have means assessed.

Jobseekers over 62

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

  • meet with a case officer in your local Intreo Centre or social welfare branch office
  • sign on monthly

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

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 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 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.

To apply, you will need the following documents along with the application form at the end of this page:

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

Bring all documentation to local Intreo Centre or 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)


Apply for Jobseeker Payment with MyWelfare.ie

Operational Guidelines

Operational Guidelines: Jobseeker's Allowance


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 Allowance again.