Jobseeker’s Benefit is a weekly payment made by the Department of Social Protection to unemployed jobseeker’s who are out of work, meet the general qualification criteria, as outlined below , and have enough PRSI contributions to qualify for this social insurance payment.
You can receive a payment for yourself (main claimant), your spouse / civil partner / co-habitant (Qualified Adult) and any dependant children (Qualified Child) - see Rates of Payment below.
Your payment, as the main claimant, is not means tested and is not affected by any savings, investments or the ownership of property other than your own home you may have.
Your spouse’s, civil partner’s or cohabitant's income can affect how much you will recieve in your Jobseeker's Benefit payment for him or her as a qualified adult (QA). Their income from employment or self-employment may affect their portion of your payment. Any other addition income they may have or the value of any property, savings and investments they have may also affect the payment you might receive for them.
Jobseeker's Benefit is not paid for the first 3 days of your claim.
In order to qualify for a Jobseekers Benefit payment you must satisfy the following conditions:
- Be unemployed
- Be under pension age (66)
- Be capable of work
- Be available for full-time work
- Be genuinely seeking work
- Have sustained a substantial loss of employment
- Satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions
It is extremely important that you have your application organised before approaching the Department of Social Protection to make a claim for a Jobseekers payment. It will aid the process and ensure that there are no unnecessary or avoidable delays in processing your application, please read our Claiming a payment page for more information.
- Reduced Rates of Payment
|Average weekly earnings||Personal rate||Qualified adult rate|
|Less than €150||€84.50||€80.90|
|€150 - €219.99||€121.40||€80.90|
|€220 - €299.99||€147.30||€80.90|
|€300 or more||€188||€124.80|
- Duration of Payment
Jobseeker's Benefit is normally paid for a maximum of 9 months, after which time you may applyf for the means tested Jobseeker's Allowance payment. If you have less than 260 PRSI contributions paid since first entering employment Jobseeker's Benefit will only be paid for 6 months instead of the full 9 months.
To qualify for JB your PRSI record must include:
- 104 paid contributions since you first started work (Prior to January 2009, 52 weeks were required)
- 39 paid or credited contributions in the relevant tax/ contribution year (From January 2009 13 must be paid in the relevant tax year or certain other periods) or 26 paid contributions in relevant tax year AND 26 paid contributions in year prior to relevant tax year, and
- you must have lost at least one days employment and earnings.
If you are unsure about your PRSI record, you can contact the PRSI Section at the Department of Social Protection for more information: 01 - 704 3000 or 01-6797777. Please be aware that department officials may not be able to give out certain information about your Social Welfare/PRSI record under the Freedom of Information Act.
If you have been self-employed, for example a sub-contractor in the building industry, you may have been paying a Class S contribution. You cannot claim Jobseeker's Benefit with Class S contributions, but may be able to claim Jobseeker's Allowance subject to a means test. The only exception to this rule is if you have the correct number of contributions and were self-employed under a contract of service. Please contact the INOU at 01 -856 0088 for more information.
To qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit you must:
This is the calendar year in which you are making your claim for Jobseeker's Benefit. It starts on the first Monday in January, and runs from January to December.
Governing Contribution Year
In order to qualify for Jobseeker' Benefit you must have the required number of PRSI contributions in the governing contribution year (GCY) - this is the second-last full tax year before the benefit year.
|Benefit Year||Contribution/Tax Year|
|1st Monday January 2008||1st January 2006 - 31st December 2006|
|1st Monday January 2009||1st January 2007 - 31st December 2007|
|1st Monday January 2010||1st January 2008 - 31st December 2008|
If your employment in the relevant year was in another EU country or as a volunteer development worker abroad, you will receive the top rate of payment. If you did not earn any money in that year, but were getting credits, you will receive the minimum rate of payment.
Requalifying for Jobseeker's Benefit
If you have used up your entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit, you may requalify for JB by working and paying the appropriate PRSI contributions for at least 13 weeks. (You can start building up these 13 contributions after the 156th day on Jobseeker's Benefit).
Social Insurance and Work in the European Union
Your social insurance record from another EU country may help you qualify for a Jobseeker's Benefit payment in Ireland. However, in order to use your record from abroad you must have paid at least one reckonable (class A, H or P) PRSI contribution in Ireland since your return to Ireland.
Claiming JB in another EU country
You can transfer up to 13 weeks of your JB payment to another EU country provided you are looking for work in that country. You must have been getting JB here for at least 4 weeks before you go. Ask your local Social Welfare Office about transferring JB at least a month before you intend travelling.
- Intreo Service
If you are making a new claim for Jobseekers Benefit you will be referred to the new Intreo service at the Department of Social Protection. The Intreo service will seek to help you with your employment and income support services needs.
Intreo will provide a personal service, based on your individual needs, including: advice on education, training and personal development opportunities; job search assistance; and information on and access to a range of income supports.
For more information on the making an applciation for Jobseekers Benefit through the Intreo Service click here.
- Documents you will need
Pleae see the links below for details of the documentation you will need in support of your application for Jobseekers Benefit
- Documentation you will need
- Claiming for a Qualified Adult
- Claiming for a Qualified Child
- Additional documents you may need
The Department of Social Protection operate a number of schemes to support Jobseekers to Return to Work, these include:
- Part-time Job Incentive Scheme (PTJI)
- Family Income Supplement (FIS)
- Continued Child Payment
The Department of Social Protection operate a number of schemes to support Jobseekers in exploring Self-Employment opportunities, these include:
Education and Training Options
There a number of Education and Training options available to people in reciept of Jobseekers Benefit payments, these include:
Back to Education Allowance - Second-level option
Back to Education Allowance - Third-level option
Part-time Education Option
Intreo is a new service from the Department of Social Protection to help with your employment and income support services needs.
Intreo will provide a personalised service, based on your individual needs including; advice on education , training and personal development opportunities, job search assistance as well as information on and access to a range of income supports , including Jobseekers Benefit payments
Intreo can provide the following services and supports to Jobseekers
- Employment services and income supports available in one place.
- Expert assistance and advice on employment, training and personal development opportunities.
- A focus on your individual needs to assist you enter the workforce.
- Self-service facilities to provide you with information and guidance on employment and training opportunities.
- Access to information on job vacancies through www.jobsireland.ie
- Information on the full range of income supports provided by the Department of Social Protection, for example, jobseeker’s payments, back to work and back to education payments, one-parent family payments, pensions and others. Also, any queries in relation to your jobseekers or one-parent family payment will continue to be dealt with by the team in your Intreo Centre .
For more information on Intreo visit the Intreo section of Department of Social Protection website.
- Citizens Information - Jobseekers Benefit
- Department of Social Protection - Jobseekers Benefit
You can speak, in complete confidence, to an Information Officer in the Information and Advocacy section directly at 01 - 856 0088 , Monday - Friday 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.
You can send your query directly to us by e-mail at email@example.com
Last Updated: 19/11/2013