Signing on for Social Welfare Credits
You may be able to claim credits even if you don't qualify for a payment
If you are unemployed but do not qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit, you may still be able to ‘sign on’ and receive credits. These credits are to help you qualify for Social welfare payments at a later date, such as pension or jobseeker’s payments.
To qualify for credits, you need to have paid at least one PRSI contribution at Class A, B, C, D, E, H or P and have paid or credited contributions in either of the last two complete income tax years.
If you are unemployed and you do not qualify for an unemployment payment, you can sign-on for credits at your local Social Welfare Office to keep your social insurance record up-to-date as long as you qualify for credits. You will get a credit for each full week of proven unemployment. You must be available for work, genuinely seeking work and capable of work.
If you are signing on for credits only, the signing arrangements may vary slightly in each Social Welfare Local Office. Contact your local Social Welfare Office for details.
If you take part in one of the following:
- Back to Education Allowance (Second and Third Level option)
- Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
- SOLAS, National Tourism Development Authority, BIM or Teagasc training courses
You will get credits for the duration of the course, provided you qualified before you started.
If you are disqualified from getting an unemployment payment because you are involved in a strike, you may qualify for credits for the duration of the strike. If you are involved in a strike, you should apply for credits at your local Social Welfare Office.
The Welfare website gives further information about the requirements to sign for credits.