Signing off and Signing back on for Jobseekers

28 Feb 2012

Signing off and your Jobseekers Claim

If you are in receipt of a Jobseekers payment, either Benefit or Allowance, you can take up full time employment for up to 4 weeks and you will not need to make a new claim when your employment is finished. This period can be extended for more than 4 weeks with the approval of the Department.

The Department of Social Protection operates a fast-tracking system for customers who sign off to take up work for a short period - up to 4 weeks. In effect this means that after your employment is finished you can sign-on to your claim without the need to go through the entire 'signing on' process as new claimant.

You will be required to provide information about your employment, however there should be no undue delay or issue processing or making payment on your reactivated claim.

Before you take up employment:

  • Confirm with your local Social Welfare Office that have received an offer of employment and that you wish to 'sign-off' for the period of employment. If any issue or problem arises contact the INOU for information and assistance.
  • Provide the local Social Welfare office, in writing if possible, with details and information on the job you will be undertaking i.e. days, hours, wages, etc. or
  • If you can, obtain a letter from the employer outlining the duration of the employment and the rate of pay.

Before your finish employment:

  • Contact your local social welfare office before your employment ends to advise them of the date your employment ends and of your intention to 'sign-on' to your Jobseekers claim.
  • Keep copies of your payslips from your employment and make these available to the local social welfare office when your employment is finished.
  • Be aware that income from employment may be assessed as means. This would only happen if your earnings from employment have been very high.

Remember, you must inform the Department if:

  • Your spouse or partner takes up employment or self-employment during the period you have 'signed-off'
  • The level of your household income, savings or investments changes (increases/decreases) during the period you have 'signed-off'

Other issues to be aware of:

  • The period of time you are employed, where you have 'signed off' your Jobseekers claim, will not count as a period of unemployment
  • This 'sign-off' period in your jobseekers/social welfare record may have an impact on your ability to engage with or participate in education, training or retraining courses. If you intend to take up state supported education, training, employment, enterprise or work experience programmes in the future check with the INOU how this will affect your entitlement to do so.
  • 'Signing off' your Jobseekers claim may have an impact on your entitlement to a Rent Supplement or Mortgage Interest Supplement - contact the INOU for more information.
  • If you are living in local authority accommodation or are on the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) you will need to inform the local authority of any increase in your income. Your local authority rent may be affected.