Signing On


If you lose your job, are made redundant, laid off or if you’re working hours are reduced you may qualify for a social welfare payment, either Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit. When you apply for a jobseeker’s payment you declare that you are available for work, fit for work, genuinely seeking work but unable to find work. This is also known assigning on.

If you work for part of a week, you may qualify for a jobseeker's payment for the days you are unemployed.

If you leave work voluntarily or as a result of misconduct, you cannot get a jobseeker’s payment for 9 weeks. However, if you have ‘good cause’ to leave voluntarily, for example, any changes in working conditions such as a reduction in pay, harassment or abuse from your employer, you may get your payment. The Deciding Officer in your social welfare local office or INTREO centre will decide whether you had good cause to leave voluntarily.

If you are self-employed you may get a jobseeker’s payment if you closed your business or the amount of work you are getting has sufficiently reduced. Find out more about self-employed people and unemployment.

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Jobseekers Allowance


Introduction If you are unemployed, you may be paid either Jobseeker's Allowance (JA) or Jobseeker's Benefit (JB). Both payments are paid by the Department of Social Protection (DSP). You may get Jobseeker's Allowance if you don't qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit or if you have used up your entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit. In some cases, if you are only entitled to a reduced rate of Jobseeker's Benefit you may be better off on Jobseeker's Allowance. However, Jobseeker's Allowance is means-tested and your means must be below a certain level to qualify.

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Jobseekers Conditions


Jobseeker’s Allowance and Jobseeker’s Benefit are payments for people who are unemployed and looking for work. To get either of these jobseeker’s payments you must meet certain conditions or requirements. If you do not meet these conditions you can be refused a payment, be disqualified from getting a payment for a period or be paid a reduced rate of your payment.

You should also read our documents on the payments for detailed information about each payment. For example, in the case of Jobseeker’s Allowance you must also meet the means test criteria and the habitual residence condition while to qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit you must have enough social insurance (PRSI) contributions and have suffered a substantial loss of employment.

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Jobseekers Benefit


Information Jobseeker's Benefit is a weekly payment from the Department of Social Protection (DSP) to people who are out of work and are covered by social insurance (PRSI). If you don't qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit you may qualify for Jobseeker's Allowance.

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Jobseekers Benefit FAQs

What changes to the jobseeker's benefit payment week were announced in Budget 2012 and when do they take effect?

From 26 July 2012, the rate of jobseeker's benefit is changing to reflect a five-day rather than a six-day week. This will affect casual and part-time workers who are getting jobseeker's benefit. As this change is taking effect from 26 July, the first payments affected will be in respect of the week ending 01 August 2012.

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Disability Payments


If you are getting certain disability payments you may be allowed to do work or training that is considered rehabilitative or therapeutic. People getting Illness Benefit and Invalidity Benefit cannot work (except for unpaid voluntary work). They must transfer to the Partial Capacity Scheme if they wish to work. In most cases you need permission to take up rehabilitative work or training. This permission is sometimes called an exemption. Exemptions (for both work or training courses) are always granted for a specific period of time. At the end of that period you must re-apply.

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