Overview: Getting a jobseeker's payment

If you lose your job, are laid off, have reduced days at work or are made redundant you may be entitled to Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit. You must meet certain conditions to be eligible for a jobseeker’s payment.

If you are self-employed but you have had to close your business or the amount of work you are getting has reduced you may qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Jobseeker's Benefit

To get Jobseeker's Benefit you must have worked and have enough social insurance (PRSI) contributions.

You must also be unemployed and and looking for full-time work. However, if you are working for 3 days or less each week it may be possible for you to work and get Jobseeker's Benefit.

Jobseeker's Allowance

To get Jobseeker's Allowance you must pass a means test. The means test for Jobseeker's Allowance examines all your sources of income and your total family income is calculated. If it falls below a certain level you may qualify for Jobseeker's Allowance.

If you are 24 years of age or under and living with your parents, a certain amount of your parents' income may also be assessed in the means test. Young people (25 and under) without children get a lower rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance. If they take part in an employment support scheme or a training or education programme they may get a higher rate.

You must be unemployed and looking for full-time work. However, if you are working for 3 days or less each week it may be possible for you to work and get Jobseeker's Allowance. Income from work is also taken into account in the means test.

Applying for a jobseeker's payment

You can read general information about making a social welfare claim. The process of claiming a jobseeker’s payment is known as signing on.

If you qualify for a payment, you may be able to get an increase in your payment for an adult dependant. You may also be able to claim an increase in your payment for a child dependant. If it is possible to claim for dependants, the Department of Social Protection will request information about your dependants on the application form.

It is important that you make your claim as soon as you know you are entitled to the payment. All payments must be claimed within a specific period of time. If you don't claim on time you may lose out. Find out more about making a late claim. If you are refused Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit you can appeal this decision.

If you cannot work due to illness or disability, you may be entitled to a payment.

Extra benefits

If you qualify for a jobseeker's payment you may qualify for extra benefits such as Rent Supplement to help you with the costs of private renting. You can get Fuel Allowance if you are on long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance - for 156 days or longer.


Page updated: 29 July 2014