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Jobseeker Supports

Jobseekers Benefit

If you are unemployed you may qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit (JB) which is based on your social insurance record.  A fundamental qualifying condition for Jobseekers Benefit is that you must be available for full time work.

Jobseekers Allowance

If you are unemployed  and do not qualify for Jobseekers Benefit you may qualify for Jobseeker's Allowance (JA) which is based on your weekly means

Jobseekers Benefit and Jobseekers Allowance Frequently Asked Questions

Information on Supports available to those Returning to Work

Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Supplementary Welfare Allowance is run by the Health Service Executive through Community Welfare Officers at local offices of the Health Service Executive. The Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme consists of a basic payment, called Supplementary Welfare Allowance, is a weekly allowance paid to people who do not have enough means to meet their needs and those of their qualified adult or any qualified children.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) - Will I Qualify?

Rent  Supplement

If you are having difficulty paying your rent and you are getting a social welfare or Health Service Executive payment, you may qualify for a Rent Supplement.

Mortgage Interest Supplement

If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage and you are getting a social welfare or Health Service Executive payment, you may qualify for a Mortgage Interest Supplement.

Back to Work

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and FÁS provide various supports for people with disabilities and for employers. See our information leaflet for more details.

National Internship Scheme - JobBridge

The Government announced the introduction of a new National Internship Scheme as part of its Jobs Initiative, which was published on 10 May 2011. The National Internship Scheme will have 5,000 places and it will be the first initiative operated under the National Employment and Entitlements Service. The scheme became operational on 1 July 2011

Work Placement Programme

The Work Placement Programme is a Government supported programme that brings employers and the unemployed together for a nine month work experience placement.

Revenue Job Assist

If you are getting a jobseeker's payment for at least 12 months and take up a job for at least 30 hours a week, which you expect to last at least 12 months, you may qualify for Revenue Job Assist.

Continued Child Payment

This scheme provides for continued payment, for up to 13 weeks, of increase for a qualified child (IQC), where payable at the full rate, to certain persons who have been receiving jobseeker's payments (JA/JB) for a year or more and who take up full-time employment for at least 4 weeks.

Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme

The Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme allows certain long-term unemployed people to take up a part-time job and receive a special weekly allowance instead of their jobseeker's payment.

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (Self Employed)

This is a weekly payment for unemployed people who set up their own business. It allows you to keep a portion of your social welfare payment for 2 years and is not subject to tax or Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI)

Short-Term Enterprise Allowance

The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) provides support to people who have lost their job and want to start their own business. To qualify you must be getting Jobseeker’s Benefit. There is no qualifying period, which means you do not need to be getting Jobseeker’s Benefit for a certain period of time. However, you will not qualify if you are getting Jobseeker’s Benefit and working part-time.

Rural Social Scheme (RSS)

The aims of the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) are to provide income support for farmers and fisherpersons who are currently in receipt of specified Social Welfare payments, and to provide certain services of benefit to rural communities. The RSS allows low-income farmers and fisherpersons who are unable to earn an adequate living from their farm holding/fishing, to earn a supplementary income.

While responsibility for the operation of the RSS rests with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, it is managed at a local level, on our behalf, by the Local Development Companies(LDCs) and in the Gaeltacht by Údarás na Gaeltachta (the Implementing Bodies). Participants under RSS are employees of their Implementing Body.

Tús – Community Work Placement Initiative

The provision of Tús was announced in Budget 2011 and launched by Minister Ó Cuív on 21st December 2010. The aims of Tús are to provide short-term, quality work opportunities for those who are unemployed and to provide certain services of benefit to communities.

Educational Supports for Jobseekers

You can avail of a full-time second or third level course, VTOS or an educational training and development course, and still receive a jobseekers payment. If you are not eligible for any of these options or if you don't wish to do a full-time course, you can attend a part-time course

Back to College Initiative for Jobseekers)

On June 1st 2010, The Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan T.D. announced that 6,589 training places will be made available to the unemployed under the Labour Market Activation Fund, 2010. A further 5,00 places were announced on August 5th, 2010.

Back to Education Allowance (Second & Third Level Options)

If you would like to return to education, and wish to pursue a second level course of education at any community, comprehensive, secondary or vocational school or a third level course at any university, third level college or institution or you may qualify for Back to Education Allowance (BTEA).

Education, Training & Development

If you are getting a jobseeker's payment and your choice of course is not covered under the Back to Education Allowance Scheme, you may keep your jobseeker's payment while doing a course of education, training or development. It must be clear that the course will enhance your employment prospects


Your local partnership company offers a range of supports, including information, training and assistance about finding work.

Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI)

'Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI)Credits' while unemployed

'Credits' are automatically given for any period you get Jobseeker's Benefit. 'Credits' may also be given for periods of Jobseeker's Allowance or if you participate in an education or part-time work scheme for unemployed people.

If you are sick or unemployed, you may qualify for 'credits' even if you are not getting Illness Benefit or an unemployment payment. This can happen, for example, if you:

  • do not have enough PRSI contributions to qualify for benefit;
  • have used up your benefit, or
  • are disqualified from getting unemployment payments because of a trade dispute.

If you are unemployed, you may be entitled to sign for 'credits' at your local Social Welfare Office.

In order to get 'credits' while you are ill and unfit for work, you must send regular medical evidence as long as your illness lasts to the:

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
P.O. Box 1650
Dublin 1
or hand in your medical certificate at your local Social Welfare Office

Employer Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme

The Employer Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme exempts employers from liability to pay their share of PRSI for certain employees for 12 months.

Last modified:15/10/2012

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