In general, payments from the Department of Social and Family Affairs 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 or Widower's (Contributory) Pension*,
- Guardian's Payment (Contributory)*,
- State Pension (Contributory),
- State Pension (Transition),
- Bereavement Grant*,
- 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 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:
- 52 paid PRSI contributions since first starting work
- 39 paid or credited PRSI contributions in the relevant tax year
- 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 receive your payment. The benefit year starts on the first Monday in January.
Long-term social insurance payments (e.g. Widow's or Widower'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.