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Jobseeker’s Allowance and Jobseeker’s Benefit

The facts on Jobseeker's Allowance and Jobseeker's Benefit


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment


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What is the dole?

In Ireland, unemployed people are entitled to receive money from the government, to help them support themselves while they look for work. There are two main types of unemployment payments: Jobseeker’s Benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance. When someone is receiving one of these two payments, this is known as being on the dole. 

To get Jobseeker’s Benefit you must have worked and paid PRSI contributions. PRSI is a form of tax you pay every month when you are working. If you have not paid enough PRSI, you will not be eligible for Jobseeker’s Benefit and instead will have to apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance. With Jobseeker’s Allowance, you will be means tested to see what your income is. If it falls below a certain cut-off point you will be entitled to Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Who is entitled to it?

If you lose your job, cannot get a job, are made redundant or your working hours are reduced, you are entitled to Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit. Also, if you voluntarily leave a workplace, you are entitled to benefits. However in this case, you have to wait nine weeks before applying for these payments.

How do you apply?

You must go to your local Social Welfare Office and fill out this form. Some offices require you to make an appointment, but most are usually walk in services where you take a ticket with a number on it and then go to the counter when your number is called. You then talk to an advisor who will tell you what you need to apply for and how to do it. You usually need to bring a passport or some form of ID along with your PPS number.

You can find more information on filling out the form here.

What do you get?

  • You get paid weekly and usually the money is transferred directly into your bank account. You can also collect your money form your nearest Post Office. While on the dole, you must go to your local office every month and sign on, confirming you are willing and able to work. If you live over 10 miles from your nearest social welfare office however, you will only have to sign on every 12 weeks.
  • While you are waiting for your dole to come through, you may qualify for a supplementary welfare allowance. A supplementary welfare allowance is basically an emergency payment you get if you cannot afford to wait until your dole comes through. More form filling is required for this payment! To apply for this, you must contact the Department of Social Protetion's representative at your local health centre. You can find a list of these here.
  • People getting Jobseeker’s Allowance who are aged between 18 and 24 years receive €100 per week. People aged 25 years receive €144 a week. This increases to €188 when they reach 26 years of age.
  • Jobseeker's Allowance is means tested. This means that any income that you have from savings or investments or property other than your home can affect the payment you receive. If you live with your parents or with your partner, their income will be counted too.
  • If you are working part-time, you can still get Jobseeker's Benefit. You must be unemployed for four out of seven consecutive days (including Sunday).

Other entitlements 

If you are on the dole you may be entitled to other benefits such as a medical card, mortgage interest payments or rent relief. Enquire at your local citizens information branch or social welfare office for details on how to get these other payments. Find out all you need to know at Citizens Information.

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Published March 11th, 2013
Last updated December 1st, 2016
Tags dole jobs jobseeker
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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