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Jobseeker's Benefit Self-Employed

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What Jobseeker's Benefit Self-Employed is

Jobseeker's Benefit Self-employed 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 Self-employed 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 Self-Employed, you must:

  • be under pension age (which is currently 66)
  • satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions
  • not be engaged in self-employment
  • be capable of working and available for full-time work
  • be genuinely seeking work
  • prove unemployment in the prescribed manner

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

Social insurance (PRSI) contributions

To qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed), you must satisfy two PRSI contribution conditions.

Condition 1

You must have 156 Class “S” contributions paid or 104 Class “A” contributions paid since entering insurable employment.

Condition 2

You must have 52 Class “S” contributions paid in the governing contribution 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.

Rates of payment

Your rate of payment will depend on your average weekly earnings in the governing contribution year. Reduced or graduated rates apply where your average weekly earnings are below €300 (gross) in the governing contribution year.

    Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed) Rates Rate from November 2019
    Full weekly payment €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)

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

If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is dependent on you or is on a low income, you may be able to claim an increase in your payment for him or her. This increase is called an Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA). If your adult dependant is earning €100 or less you will get the maximum IQA. If he or she is earning between €100 and €310 you will get a reduced rate of IQA. If your adult dependant is earning more than €310 you will not get an increase in your Jobseeker’s Benefit for your adult dependant.

If you have dependent children you may also be able to claim an increase in your payment for them. This increase is called an Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC).

Jobseekers over 62

If you are over the age of 62 and receiving Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed), 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 65, or turn 65 while receiving Jobseeker's Benefit Self-Employed, and have at least 156 social insurance (PRSI) contribution weeks paid and have 52 PRSI Class “S” contributions paid in the governing contribution year 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.


To apply, please fill in the application form (available 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 are no longer self-employed otherwise you could lose some payment.

To apply, you will need the following documents, in addition to the application form:

  • identification: your Public Services Card (PSC), passport or driving license
  • proof of your address: a recent 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 Benefit (Self-Employed) (UP1 JBSE)

Please complete in Black Pen using BLOCK LETTERS.



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 (Self-Employed) again.

Operational Guidelines

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

Operational Guidelines: Jobseeker's Benefit.