(Retention of Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit)
Description of Option
Information Leaflet (SW 70) & Application Form (BTE1) available from.
As part of its Social and Family Support Services, the Department of Social Protection provides a wide range of second chance education opportunities for unemployed people, lone parents and people with disabilities.
The Department's objective in this area is to raise educational and skills level among the long term unemployed, in order to help them to meet the requirements of the modern labour market. Studies have shown that there is a strong link between unemployment and educational attainment and this Department's Back To Education Programmes were introduced to provide a comprehensive range of options from which an unemployed person can choose, or be directed to, the most appropriate for his/her needs.
The Back To Education Programmes range from basic courses of education, training or development through to third level postgraduate courses of study, and are:
Social and Family Support Services, Back to Education Programmes (
The main provision relating to Jobseeker's Allowance are contained in Chapter 2 of Part III of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act, 2005, as amended.
The main provisions relating to Jobseeker's Benefit are contained in Chapter 12 of Part II of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 2005, and Chapter 5 of Part II of the Social Welfare (Consolidated Payments Provision) Regulations, 2007, (S.I. No. 142 of 2007) as amended.
The Part-Time Education Option is administered by:
Social and Family Support Services
Back to Education Schemes
Carrick on Shannon
Description of Option
The Part-Time Education option was introduced to enable unemployed persons to attend part-time day/evening courses of education or training and retain their Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit provided that they continue to satisfy the conditions of being available for and genuinely seeking employment on an on-going basis. The purpose of this option is to enhance the employability prospects of participants.
Unlike the other educational opportunity schemes there are no specific eligibility criteria for availing of this option. The person may be of any age and may be unemployed for any length of time before commencing a part-time course of education.
Part-time day/evening/early morning courses, distance education or part-time courses under the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) may be approved under the
PTEO. In some cases, part-time courses which run during the normal working day can be accepted e.g. courses under the
BTEI Programme which are administered by the Department of Education and Skills. Courses under the ICT Skills Programme 2012 may be approved under atypic PTEO to eligible participants on a pilot basis only during 2012.
Local offices approach such applications in a flexible way bearing in mind the following requirements;
- Jobseekers Allowance & Jobseekers Benefit recipients may participate in a part-time course and continue to receive their
JB payment under the Back to Education Programme, Part-Time Option.
- Participants on part-time courses who continue to receive payment of
JB are required to satisfy the conditions of being available for and genuinely seeking employment on an ongoing basis.
- Where a
JB recipient is pursuing a part-time course of study on the understanding that the course will help to enhance his/her employment prospects, s/he should be encouraged to complete the course. However, attendance on a part-time course under the
PTEO is allowed on the clear understanding that availability for and genuinely seeking reasonable work opportunities must take precedence over course attendance, should a conflict arise.
This scheme does not involve any special payment or allowance and participants satisfy all the conditions for receipt of
JB (including eligibility for secondary benefits, where applicable). In all respects the person should be treated as any other
All applications for the
PTEO should be made on the form
BTE1. The person should be asked to produce evidence of the time-table for the course. Decisions on the
PTEO are made in the Social Welfare Local Office (SWLO).
Once the Deciding Officer is satisfied that the person meets all the requirements concerning availability, the
BTE1 is authorised and clearly marked "Part-time Education Option". The
BTE1 is retained with the claim papers.
Where a request for participation in the
PTEO is refused, it should be explained to the applicant that if s/he takes up the course a decision will be made to disallow the unemployment claim on the availability condition.
A decision to refuse the
PTEO should be based on availability and this should be explained to the person involved so they may appeal the decision on the same basis.
Since a decision to allow or refuse the
PTEO is based on the person's continuing availability for employment on
JB, this decision is statutory and may be appealed to the Appeals Office.
Information Leaflet (
SW 70) and Application Form (
BTE 1) are available from:
- Nation-wide network of Social Welfare Local Offices,
- Social and Family Support Services, Shannon Lodge, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim,
- Social Welfare Services Office, College Road, Sligo,
- Social Welfare Services Office, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford,
- Information Services, Social Welfare Services Office, College Road, Sligo.