Claiming a payment

Making a Claim for Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit

 

It is extremely important that you have your application organised before approaching the Department of Employment Affairs and 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.

Intreo

If you are making a new claim for either Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance you will be referred to the new Intreo service at the Department of Employment Affairs and 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.

Working with Intreo:

  • When you visit the Intreo Centre for the first time, you should bring your PPS number, proof of identity (drivers license, passport, etc.) and proof of your address, such as a utility bill in your name. See the list of Documentation you might need below
  • You should call to reception area to make an appointment to meet with an Intreo Officer to process your application for a Jobseekers payment. You will be given an application form and an appointment will be made for you to meet with an Intreo official for you to progress your claim. You will also be advised on what documents you need to bring along to your appointment.
  • You should bring your completed application form and other documents to your appointment. At your appointment, the Intreo Officer will review and process your application. You will also be given details of an information session that you must attend. At this information session, the Intreo Officer will describe the full range of support services available from Intreo. They will give you an appointment for a further meeting with one of their Case Officers. At this meeting the Case Officer will discuss your options and agree a Personal Progression Plan with you to help you in seeking employment. This Plan will be focused on meeting your individual needs. The Case Officer will provide you with ongoing advice and support in relation to achieving the goals as agreed in your Personal Progression Plan.
  • During this process the team in the Intreo centre will be able to provide information about the full range of income supports available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
  • For a more detailed description on the Intreo process for Jobseekers visit the Your Pathway to Work page on the welfare.ie website.

More Information on Intreo:

  • For more information on Intreo visit their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) page.
  • For a list of Intreo Centres click here or you can contact the Department of Social Protection/Intreo  Information Services on LoCall 1890 66 22 44
  • You can contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protections Intreo service using their Online Contact Form.
  • If you have any additional questions or require any support or assistance, please contact the Welfare Rights Information Service at the INOU online or by telephone on 01 - 856 0088.

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 Documentation you might need

When making your application for a Jobseekers payment the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection may ask for some, or a combination, of the following:

- Identity documents:

You will need to provide proof of identity which can include:

- Proof of Residence:

You will also be required to provide proof of residence which can include:

  • recent bills from utility companies, electricity, telephone (landline or mobile), gas, cable television, waste charges, etc;
  • recent statements/correspondence from banks, building societies, credit unions, credit card companies or other financial institutions;
  • recent letters addressed to you from insurance companies, local authorities, government departments or the Revenue Commissioners
  • local authority rent statments, mortgage or leasing agreement.

If you do not have any of the above documents to prove residence, you can provide bills in the name of a parent, spouse or partner which may be accepted. This may also require a letter from a parent, spouse or partner to confirm that you are resident at that address and how long you have been living there.

Please note: In all above documents, photocopies will not be acceptable.

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Claiming for a Qualified Adult

If you intend to apply for a Qualified Adult payment for your spouse, civil partner or co-habitant the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will require that your supply appropriate Identity Documents.

The department will also ask for details of any income your spouse, civil partner or co-habitant have from:

  • Social Welfare Payments (Irish or foreign),
  • Employment - including full-time, part-time, casual or other
  • Self-Employment - including agency, commission based, working from home, etc.
  • Savings, investments and property other than their own home - this includes any property or land in any country, irrespective of its current value or status.

Employment and self-employment: Your spouse's, civil partner's or cohabitant's average weekly income from employment or self employment is assessed (the gross weekly income is assessed, no deductions are allowed for tax, PRSI contributions or personal expenses). If paid on a monthly basis, the weekly average income over the previous two months is calculated. If he or she is paid weekly or fortnightly, the weekly average over the previous six weeks is used. For self-employment the income received in the last completed tax year is divided by 52 to get the average weekly income.

Capital: Income from capital, for example, property, savings and investments, is included in the mean test. If you and your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant hold capital jointly, half of the value is assessed as belonging to your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant. If property is owned jointly or only by your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant the rental income from the property is assessed for payment of an Increase for a Qualified Adult with your social insurance payment. However, the capital value will be assessed if the property is not rented.

Income from other sources: The value of income from other sources includes rental income from the letting of property, income from an occupational pension, foreign social welfare payments, income from a trust fund, income under a deed of covenant, other cash income, etc., is calculated on a weekly basis.

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Claiming for a Qualified Child

If you intend to apply for a Qualified Child payment for any dependent children the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will require that your supply appropriate Identity documents. This can include a Birth Certificate and/or Passport.

To get an payment for a Qualified Child, your child must:

  • Be resident in the State
  • Not be in legal custody
  • Satisfy the age condition for that payment
  • Live with you

Children under 18: A child dependent is usually a child up to 18 years of age who lives with you.

Children aged 18 and over: If your child is 18 years of age or over, you may continue to get a Qualified Child payment for three months after he or she leaves second level education or finishes the Leaving Certificate. If you are getting a long-term social welfare payment and your child is in full-time education, a Qualified Child payment will be paid up to 22 years of age or up to the end of the academic year in which he or she reaches 22.

Please Note: Your child does not have to be financially dependent on you. Your child can work and earn money and this does not affect payment you receive for them on your Jobseeker payment.

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- Documents for Jobseeker's Allowance

- Proof of Means for Main Applicant

For applications for Jobseekers Allowance you will be required to provide proof of personal means which can include statements and documents relating to any:

  • Social Welfare Payments - including any foreign payment or benefits
  • Pension Payments - including any occupational, foreign or injury related payments from any other country
  • Employment - including any part-time, casual or other work
  • Self-Employment - including agency work, commission based, working from home, etc.
  • Capital, savings, investments and property other than your own home - this includes any property or land in any country, irrespective of its current value or status.
  • Income from other sources: The value of income from other sources includes financial support from family, rental income from the letting of property, income/payment protection plans, income from a trust fund, income under a deed of covenant, other cash income, etc.

The Department of Social Protection will also require information on your spouse / partners / co-habitants income - see Claiming for a Qualified Adult above.

- Habitual Residence Condition (HRC)

If the DSP needs more information to decide whether you are habitually resident in the Republic of Ireland you may be asked to fill out the HRC1 form (pdf).

Regardless of what country you are coming from you may be asked to provide documentary evidence that shows your 'centre of interest' is now in Ireland. This evidence should show that you have moved to Ireland, you intend to settle in Ireland permanently and you do not intend to go back to live in the country you came from.

Where possible, you should provide the following documentary evidence:

  • Proof to show you have given up accommodation abroad
  • Proof that you have cancelled or applied to cancel any non-transferable benefits
  • Proof you have transferred or applied to transfer any transferable income
  • Proof to show measures you have put in place to open a bank account here
  • Proof to show you have a tenancy in your own name (in Ireland)
  • Proof of travel documents including, where relevant, excess baggage fees    and removal/shipping receipts

All evidence presented will be authenticated, as far as is possible, by the relevant Officer. In some cases you may be asked to submit further documentary evidence. In certain cases, a Social Welfare Inspector may investigate your application.

- Appealing a decision on habitual residency

If you are not satisfied with the decision made in your case you have the right of review and/or the right of appeal. If you wish to have your case reviewed you can submit additional evidence and ask for the decision to be reviewed. You can also bring an appeal against the decision to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office. If you prefer, you may appeal directly to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office without first asking for a review.

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- Documents for Jobseeker's Benefit

If you are seeking to claim a Jobseekers Benefit payment you will be required to provide additional documenation in relation to your employment.

- Reasons for Unemployment:

If you have been employed, and have become unemployed, as part of the interview / assessment process the Department of Social Protection may ask for information in relation to the circumstances under which you became unemployed.

This means that you may not qualify for Jobseekers Benefit if you:

  • Left work voluntarily and without just cause or good reason
  • Have accepted a Voluntary Severance package, this is not a Statutory Redundancy. As individual employment circumstances can vary accepting a Voluntary Severance does not automatically mean that you will not qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit.
  • Lost your job through misconduct (including theft, substance misuse, disciplinary issues, etc.)
  • Refused an offer of suitable alternative employment or suitable training
  • Are on strike from your job

Please Note: If you left employment because of bullying or your are taking a case for unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal against your employer you may qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit even though you left work voluntarily. Please contact the INOU for information and assistance.

- P45:

You will need to bring your P45 or a letter from your employer saying when you finished work. If you can supply a letter from your employer explaining the reasons for losing your job, through no fault of your own, it may speed up the processing time of your claim.

- P45 not issued:

If your former employer refuses to give you a P45 it can affect your application for Jobseeker's Benefit (JB). You should still apply for JB but the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection cannot pay JB to you until they verify your former employment. If you do not have a P45, the Department may informally contact your employer at the time of your application for JB and request him/her to send you a P45 to help process your claim for JB. If this hasn't resulted in your former employer giving you your P45, you can ask to fill-in form IA49 at your local Social Welfare Office.

Form IA49 is a declaration stating that you believe your former employer did not comply with social insurance regulations. As a result of your declaration, there will be an investigation into your employer's payment of PRSI. Filling-in form IA49 may not result in your P45, however, it may help to determine if you qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit.

- P60

At the end of each tax year your employer must give you a P60 which is a  statement of your pay and of the tax, USC and PRSI deducted by your employer during the year. If you need to claim a benefit you would send the second part to the Department of Social Protection as evidence of your paid PRSI contributions

If your employer does not give you a P60 at the end of each year you should contact your local tax office.

- Period of Notice:

You may be entitled to notice if you are being let go from your job. This means that you are given notice that your job will end, and a date in the near future when this will come into effect. The length of notice you are entitled to, will depend in the first place on your contract of employment and your statutory entitlement under employment law - visit the WorkPlace Relations website for further information on your Employment Rights.

If you are not required to work your ‘notice’ period but are paid for the notice period, i.e. paid, but do not have to attend work,  you will not be ‘officially’ unemployed until the date your employment is terminated according to your P45. As such you would not be able to claim a Jobseeker’s Benefit payment until the date of termination of employment specified on the P45.

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 Useful steps before making your claim

There are a number of useful steps you should be aware of, and consider, before you make your claim for a Jobseekers Payment:

- Genuinely Seeking Work:

You will be expected to provide proof of your efforts to Genuinely Seek Work upon your application for a Jobseeker's payment. This means that you need to show the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection that you have, and are, making reasonable efforts to find employment. The following steps outline a number of ways you can meet the GSW requirements as part of your ongoing jobseeking activities.

- JobsIreland.ie:

JobsIreland.ie is an online resource for Jobseeke’rs where they can find information about prospective employment and work experience opportunities and Employers can post vacancies. This includes: 

Jobs Ireland can be accessed easily and in a number of ways –

  • Through the internet at www.jobsireland.ie
  • Using the free downloadable ‘smartphone’ jobseekers app, available on the Apple app store and Google play store
  • Through the JobsIreland.ie free phone service – telephone: 1800 611 116

Visit the Jobs Ireland website www.jobsireland.ie for more information.

- Jobs Clubs:

Jobs Clubs are available as a support to jobseekers who require assistance in preparing their CV's, photocopying and e-mailing CV's. Having an up to date CV and use of Job Club facilities to find work will demonstrate your genuine efforts to seek work.

You can find a list of Jobs Clubs on this page.

- Employment Agencies:

Another indication that you are 'genuinely seeking work' would be to register with employment agencies. You will find lists of Recruitment Agencies in the Golden Pages and on the internet through search engines such as Google and Yahoo. As most of these agencies have websites or e-mail addresses you can send in your C.V. by e-mail. Remember to keep copies of your e-mails as proof of your jobseeking efforts.

- Newspapers:

You will be expected to use the jobs sections in the newspapers to look for work. You should keep copies of all job advertisements you have replied to and any correspondence received.

- Personal Contacts:

You should keep records of all efforts to find work using your personal, family and business contacts. General details of who you spoke to, when you spoke to them and any outcome will prove useful

- Voluntary Work (Voluntary Work Option)

If you are unemployed you can take up voluntary work while in reciept of a Jobseekers payment. This can be a very satisfying and rewarding way of using your time and skills to help others. Voluntary work can help you gain new skills and can in turn greatly increase your chances of getting a job.

Under the Voluntary Work Option you can take up voluntary work in a community organisation and keep your Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit payment. Once you find an organisation interested in your services, you and the organisation must fill out the  VW1 form available from your local Social Welfare Office / Intreo Centre.

To use this option, you must still be genuinely seeking work and remain available to take up work. This is important as being a volunteer should not be seen as a long term replacement for a full time adequately paid job.

Contact Volunteer Ireland on (01) 636 9446 or visit their website www.volunteer.ie for more information on the range of volunteering options available.

- Lack of response to Job Applications:

A common concern expressed by jobseekers is that they do not receive any acknowledgment of an application for employment, and do not receive any correspondence if they are unsuccessful securing a job. For the purpose of Genuinely Seeking Work you, the jobseeker, should not be penalised if an employer does not acknowledge your application or does not advise you that you have been unsuccessful in obtaining the position.

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Checklist in making your claim

The following is a useful checklist you can use in making your claim for a Jobseekers payment:

  • You should apply for your Jobseeker's payment as soon as you can when you finish work, i.e. the first day you are unemployed. You will not get paid on Jobseeker's Benefit for the first three days of your claim. If you are finishing work in the near future, you should start organising your documentation for your Jobseeker's payment application while you are still working.
  • You will be asked about the type of work you are looking for, what times you are available for work and the efforts you have made in seeking work. Be flexible in your answers and always think through the implications of what you are saying. You must show that you are looking for full-time work and that you are willing to accept any reasonable offer of employment based on your skills, qualifications and experience. In addition you must also show that you are willing to look at different types of work and would be willing to consider part-time work in the event full-time work is not available.
  • If you have children you may be asked about your child-minding arrangements. In asking such questions the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will seek to determine if you are 'Available for Work', and that you can take up a job at short notice. If possible, it might be useful to have a letter from a child minder saying that they are available to look after your children. If the Department think you do not have sufficient childcare arrangements your claim may be refused because they may determine that you are not 'Available For Work'.
  • While you are waiting for a decision on your Jobseeker's claim, and if your income is not enough to meet your needs, you can apply for a means tested Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) payment. Applications for Basic SWA payments should be made to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
  • If you are refused an SWA payment you should apply, to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, for either an Exceptional Needs Payment (ENP) or an Urgent Needs Payment (UNP) on the grounds that you have no income or means of support through no fault of your own. If you are refused you have the right to appeal - contact the INOU for assistance.

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Application Refused or Unsuccessful

If your application for a Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit payment is refused or unsuccessful and you are unhappy with the decision of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection there are a number of things you can do.

You may be able to request a review of the original decision made by the Deciding Officer (DO) or you may wish to make a formal appeal to the Social Welfare Appeals Office

If you require any information, assistance or support in making your application or dealing with an unsuccessful application please contact the INOU for assistance.

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Contact Us:

- Telephone:

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.

- Online:

Use the online Contact Us form on the INOU website - click here

- E-mail:

You can send your query directly to us by e-mail at welfare@inou.ie 

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Last Updated: 07/12/2018