Professional Artists on Jobseeker’s Allowance


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Social Welfare Scheme for Professional Artists on Jobseeker’s Allowance
 

Introduction
The pilot scheme for self-employed artists on jobseeker’s allowance was announced by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, in June 2017. It was an initiative under the Creative Ireland Programme and was open to writers who were members of the Irish Writer’s Centre and to visual artists who were members of Visual Arts Ireland. Under the pilot scheme, self-employed artists had to satisfy the qualifying conditions for Jobseeker’s Allowance including a means test. They did not have to take part in activation activities outside of their artistic area for the first year that they were out of work.

The pilot scheme was reviewed recently by this Department in consultation with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. One of its recommendations was that the pilot should be established as a permanent scheme in its own right and extended to include professionals from other artistic disciplines. The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD and the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD have announced that the scheme is now open for applications from a wide range of professional artists.

The full list of professional art forms covered by the scheme along with the certifying organisations can be found at the following link  Professional Disciplines and Certifying Organisations.

Rules
In order to qualify for the Social Welfare Scheme for Professional Artists on Jobseeker’s Allowance you must be aged over 18 and under 66. You must also:

 
  • Be unemployed
  • Be capable of work
  • Be available for work
  • Be available for full-time work and genuinely seeking work
  • Satisfy the means test
  • Meet the habitual residence condition
  • Be a member of one of the listed certifying professional organisations and provide a certificate/declaration from a professional body as to your status as a professional artist
  • Be registered as self-employed with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and at least 50% of your income should be derived from your work as a professional artist in the previous year
Participants of the Artists Scheme can, on a walk-in voluntary basis, avail of the services of a DEASP Case Officer, if they so wish.

Rates
The rate of payment is the same as for Jobseeker’s Allowance

 

Means Test
When you are being assessed for Social Welfare Scheme for Professional Artists on Jobseeker’s Allowance you will be means tested as a self-employed person. Certain expenses are allowable.

Information in relation to the means test for self-employed persons can be accessed at the following link Income from Self-Employment

Income from work as a professional artist
Under the rules of the scheme at least 50% of your income should come from your work as a professional artist in the previous year.

Examples of work that is counted:

  • Sales of Artworks
  • Sale of Books
  • Royalties
  • Bursaries and grant arising from status as an artist
  • Book readings
  • Appearance fees
  • Lecture fees
  • Sales of Artistic Editions
  • Artist Fee on Commissioned Works
  • Artist Fee on Exhibitions
  • Artist Fee on Education & Outreach Programme
  • Artistic Consultancy
  • Artist Fee for Selection Panels
  • Artists Fee for Artistic Advisory Panels
  • Artistic Technical & Installation Support
  • Art Awards & Prizes
  • Artistic residencies
  • Artist Fee on Design Consultants
 

How to apply
You should apply to your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. You will need to bring certain documents with you when you apply.  You will also need a certificate/declaration from a professional body as to your status as a professional artist and documents from the Office of the Revenue Commissioners showing that at least 50% of your income was from your work as a professional artist in the previous year.

Getting paid
You can collect your Jobseeker’s Allowance payment weekly from your nearest Post Office. You must bring valid photographic identification (photo ID) with you to collect your payment. Any one of the following is considered to be valid photo ID:

 
  • Public Services Card
  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • GNIB card
  • EU/EEA nationals may use a National Identity Card
Staff working in the Post Office may ask to see your photo ID before giving you your payment.

 

Useful links:
Creative Ireland:
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/
The Office of the Revenue Commissioners: www.revenue.ie
Last modified:30/08/2019