Qualified Adults Working

Where your Partner or Spouse is Working

The spouse/partner of a person in receipt of a Jobseeker's payment is referred to as a Qualified Adult (QA). A Qualified Adult may take up either full-time or part-time work while their partner is in receipt of a Jobseeker's payment. Married couples and co-habiting couples are assessed in the same way by the Department of Social Protection.

The standard Jobseeker's (both JA and JB) payment is made up as follows:
Main Claimant payment€188.00
Qualified Adult (spouse or partner)€124.80
Qualified Child (for each child)€29.80

 

Genuinely Seeking Work

A Qualified Adult is not subject to the genuinely seeking work condition that applies to the claimant - i.e. the Qualified Adult does not have to look for a job if they do not want to.

Hours/Days worked

There is no restriction on the number of hours or days that the Qualified Adult can work

Earned Income:

The amount of money that a Qualified Adult earns from work may affect the overall Jobseekers payment for the family.

Jobseeker's Benefit and Qualified Adult Working

If you are claiming Jobseeker's Benefit and your spouse/partner (Qualified Adult) works their gross earnings will be counted as follows:

  • If your spouse/partner earns up to €100 per week - you will receive the full Main Claimant rate (€188.00) for yourself and the full Qualified Adult rate for your spouse/partner (€124.80)
  • If your spouse/partner earns over €100, but under €310 per week- you will receive the full Main Claimant rate (€188.00) for yourself and a reduced Qualified Adult rate for your spouse/partner. The amount of the reduction depends on the amount of their earnings.
Spouse/Partners Earnings Qualified Adult Rate payable
Earnings Minimum Earnings MaximumRate Payable
Up to €100.00  €124.80
From €100.01To€110.00€119.80
From €110.01To€120.00€114.80
From €120.01To€130.00€109.10
From €130.01To€140.00€103.20
From €140.01To€150.00€97.50
From €150.01To€160.00€91.70
From €160.01To€170.00€85.90
From €170.01To€180.00€80.10
From €180.01To€190.00€74.20
From €190.01To€200.00€68.50
From €200.01To€210.00€62.60
From €210.01To€220.00€56.90
From €220.01To€230.00€51.00
From €230.01To€240.00€45.30
From €240.01To€250.00€39.50
From €250.01To€260.00€33.70
From €260.01To€270.00€27.90
From €270.01To€280.00€22.10
From €280.01To€290.00€16.30
From €290.01To€300.00€10.50
Over €300.01To€310.00€4.70

Over €310.00 the rate is €0 (Nil)

  • If your spouse/partner earns over €310 per week - you will receive the full Main Claimant rate (€188.00) for yourself but you will not receive any payment for your spouse/partner as a Qualified Adult.

Jobseeker's Allowance and Qualified Adult Working

If you are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and your spouse/partner (Qualified Adult) works their earnings will be counted as follows:

  • The first €20 (per day) of income from employment will be disregarded - this is called the Daily Disregard
  • This €20 Daily disregard will only apply up to a maximum of 3 days per week, no matter how many days the Qualified Adult works.
  • 60% of the net balance of income, after the deduction of the Daily Disregard, will be assessed against the family unit's weekly rate of Jobseeker's Allowance.
  • The net earnings of the spouse/partner are calculated as the gross earnings less PRSI, Superannuation and Trade Union dues

Split Payments - If a couple are living together and one person is claiming a social welfare payment it does not mean that the other person has to be a qualified adult. For example, Jobseeker's Allowance and Jobseeker's Benefit allows both partners to sign-on as individuals if they are both Genuinely Seeking Work. The Personal Rate (€188.00) and Qualified Adult (€124.80) rate will be added together and then split evenly between the couple. If the primary claim is for Jobseeker's Allowance, both parties would receive a Jobseekers Allowance payment. If the primary claim is for Jobseekers' Benefit the Qualified Adult will not receive a JB payment, but will instead receive a Jobseeker's Allowance payment.
Although the couple will not end up with any more money, they may have more options open to them if they are both registered as unemployed.

Separate Payments - If you are a Qualified Adult and you feel that your spouse/partner is not making sufficient contribution towards your maintenance you can ask at the local Social Welfare office for "separate payments". This may result in the personal rate and qualified adult rate being added together and then split evenly between you and your spouse/partner. The full rate of any Qualified Child payments on the claim may be given in full to one of the couple.

NB: Getting separate payments does not mean that they are both signing on as unemployed people.

Last Updated: 01/02/2011