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Employees and Self Employed: How to apply for Jobseeker’s Payment

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Section 1. Employees: How to apply for Jobseeker’s Payments online – for people losing their jobs or going on Short-Time due to COVID-19.

Section 2. Self Employed: How to apply for Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed).

Section 1. Employees: How to apply for Jobseeker’s Payments online – for people losing their jobs or going on Short-Time due to COVID-19.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection are experiencing an unprecedented increase in claims and queries across several of the department’s income support schemes, most notably our Jobseeker’s schemes.

Combined with measures to apply social distancing, this large increase in claims caused delays in many of our Intreo Centres yesterday, for which we apologise.

The department is making every effort to process applications from people losing their jobs or going on Short-Time due to COVID-19. The department has put in place a series of contingencies to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and these include staff working over the weekend, overtime and significant staff numbers being redeployed to priority areas to respond to increases in jobseeker applications.

How to apply for Jobseeker’s Payments:

In order to respond as quickly as possible to the large increase, the department would point out that there is, in many cases, no need for people to attend an office in person to submit an application.

If possible, we would ask people to:

Apply on our online portal https://services.mywelfare.ie/

OR

Download the application form from our website. This can then be posted or dropped in to your local Intreo Centre

Section 2. Self Employed: How to apply for Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed)

If you are self-employed and your business has reduced significantly or closed, you can apply for Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed).

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.

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.

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 they are earning €100 or less you will get the maximum IQA. If they are earning between €100 and €310 you will get a reduced rate of IQA. If they are earning more than €310, you will not get an Increase for a Qualified Adult.

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:

• 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.

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.

How To Apply For Jobseeker’s Payment (Self-Employed)

To apply, please fill in the application form (available below). This can then be posted or dropped in to your local Intreo Centre.

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 licence

• 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: Please complete in Black Pen using BLOCK LETTERS.

Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed) (UP1 JBSE) – Download Here.

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 (Self-Employed) again.

Additional information for Self Employed people:

Extra benefits:

If you are getting Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed), you may be entitled to:

• Rent Supplement – a payment under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme – Details here.

• Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance – an allowance to help with the cost of uniforms and footwear for children who are attending school – Details here.

• Medical card – if your income is below a certain level, you may get a medical card – Details here.

• You do not qualify for the Household Benefits Package or Free Travel with Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed).

Taxation of Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed)

Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed) is taxable. More info here.

We want to reassure all customers that we will deal with their applications as quickly as possible and customers will receive their full entitlement back dated to the date of entitlement. You will be paid from the day you are laid off.

In order to ensure that people who have a critical need can receive their payment promptly, we kindly ask for the cooperation of the public to not call the department to check the status of their claim.

We are processing all claims as quickly as possible. Diversion of staff to telephone answering will delay the process of awarding claims.

The cooperation will enable us to concentrate our resources on dealing with claims for people who have an urgent financial need for income support.

We wish to thank members of the public for their patience and understanding at this time. We also wish to acknowledge the support of our front-line staff in responding to the unprecedented influx in claims.

Additional info on worker entitlements:

📍 If your employer asks you to stay at home as a precaution or puts you on a period of pay-off and does not continue to pay your wages, you can apply for income support in the form of Jobseeker’s Payment or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

📍 Any person requested to stay at home by their employer as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19 will, in situations where the employer cannot continue to pay their wages, be considered to have been temporarily laid-off and can apply for an income support in the form of a Jobseekers Payment or Supplementary Welfare Allowance

📍 Laid off temporarily or reduced hours

📍 Employees who are laid off temporarily, without pay, due to a reduction in business activity, can apply for a Jobseekers Payment.

📍 When a worker is told to self-isolate by a doctor or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by a doctor, they can apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €305 per week. To be eligible for this payment a person must be confined to their home or a medical facility.

For Information on Job Seekers Schemes CLICK HERE