In general, payments from the Department of Social Protection are made up of social insurance payments (based on PRSI contributions) and social assistance payments (based on a means test).
Certain worksharing patterns can result in you having fewer PRSI contributions. This could affect your entitlement to some social welfare payments.
Depending on the Class of PRSI that you fall into, you build up cover for individual social insurance payments over different periods of time. The following payments depend on your PRSI contribution record and other qualifying conditions:
- Jobseeker's Benefit,
- Illness Benefit,
- Maternity Benefit,
- Adoptive Benefit,
- Health and Safety Benefit,
- Invalidity Pension,
- Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension*,
- Guardian's Payment (Contributory)*,
- State Pension (Contributory),
- Treatment Benefit,
- Occupational Injuries Benefit*, and
- Carer's Benefit*.
All of these payments are available if you have Class A PRSI contributions and satisfy the other qualifying conditions of each payment or benefit.
* If you have PRSI Class B, C or D contributions, you may qualify for these payments - providing that you satisfy the other qualifying conditions.
To qualify for most short-term social insurance payments, you need to have:
- 104 paid PRSI contributions since first starting work
- 39 paid or credited PRSI contributions in the relevant tax year of which 13 must be paid contributions. If you do
not have 13 paid contributions in the relevant tax year,
then 13 paid contributions in one of the following tax
years can be used instead:
- Either of the two tax years before the relevant tax year
- The last complete tax year (before the year in which
your claim for Illness Benefit begins)
- 26 paid or credited PRSI contributions in the relevant tax year and 26 paid PRSI contributions in the tax year before the relevant tax year.
The relevant tax year is the second last complete tax year before the benefit year in which you make your claim. For 2016, the relevant tax year is 2014. The benefit year starts on the first Monday in January.
Long-term social insurance payments (e.g. Widow's,Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension, State Pension (Contributory), etc.) also require that you have a minimum number of paid PRSI contributions to qualify, as well as reaching a yearly average of paid and credited contributions over an extended period.