14 Mar 2020

Employees and Self Employed: How to apply for Jobseeker's Payment

Section 1: COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
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Emergency Payment for Employees and the Self Employed.

Section 2. Employees: How to apply for Jobseeker's Payments online - for people losing their jobs or going on Short-Time due to COVID-19. *Must be completed within the next 6 weeks after receipt of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Section 3. Self Employed: How to apply for Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed). *Must be completed within the next 6 weeks after receipt of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Section 4. All other important COVID-19 information for both Employees and Employers.

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Section 1: COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
- Emergency Payment for Employees and the Self Employed.

What COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is

This new payment will be available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to a downturn in economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment has a simple one–page application form and will be paid for a period of 6 weeks at a flat rate payment of €350 per week for jobseekers. It is designed to quickly deliver a social welfare payment to the unemployed and provide income security during this 6-week period.

Individuals applying for the payment will be required to apply for the normal jobseeker’s payments within this 6-week period. Once this normal jobseeker claim is subsequently received, the department will process these claims and reconcile payments at that time. This will involve backdating increased payments for certain customers.

Minister for Employment Regina Doherty stated:

“Ireland has entered unchartered territory as a consequence of the spread of Covid-19. This is now both a public health and economic issue.“In light of the significant volumes of jobseeker applications expected this week, the Department will from tomorrow be introducing a new Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment specifically designed to get thousands of people into payment as quickly as possible.”

The new payment that has been put in place will be available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to a downturn in economic activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The payment will have a simple one – page application form and will be paid for a period of 6 weeks at a flat rate payment of €350 per week.

Individuals applying for the payment will be required to apply for the normal jobseeker’s payments within this 6 week period. Once this normal jobseeker claim is subsequently received, the Department will process these claims and reconcile payments at that time. This will involve backdating increased payments for certain customers.

How to Apply

There is no need for to attend your local Intreo Centre but you can apply in the following ways:

This guide describes how to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment - Download here.

An application form for the new Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment can be downloaded here and returned to us to PO BOX 12896, Dublin 1

OR

You can apply for another income support from us through our online portal www.MyWelfare.ie (you will need a Public Services Card)

OR

Phone us on 1890 800 024 or 01 2481398 and we will send you the relevant application form for the new payment.

I am unable to print forms to claim for social welfare payments?

Request a Form By Post - This email address is only for application forms. Email: forms@welfare.ie

A dedicated Help Line set up for businesses around COVID-19 has also been set up. Call: +353 1 631 2002.

Minister Doherty added:

“I want to reassure our clients that the Department will process all applications for income support as soon as possible. The new payment will speed this process up and ensure that our customers receive a payment from the Department in as short a time as possible. Payments will issue based on date of application, not date of processing, meaning that all payments will be back dated. We would ask customers to please keep checking your Bank Account as payment may issue in advance of us formally notifying you.”

We would ask the members of the public to please assist us over the next few days by applying for income support from the department, such as the full Jobseekers Payment, through our online channel mywelfare.ie. See the below information to get started.

Section 2. Employees: How to apply for Jobseeker's Payments online - for people losing their jobs or going on Short-Time due to COVID-19.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection are experiencing an unprecedented increase in claims and queries across several of the department’s income support schemes, most notably our Jobseeker's schemes.

Combined with measures to apply social distancing, this large increase in claims caused delays in many of our Intreo Centres yesterday, for which we apologise.

The department is making every effort to process applications from people losing their jobs or going on Short-Time due to COVID-19. The department has put in place a series of contingencies to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and these include staff working over the weekend, overtime and significant staff numbers being redeployed to priority areas to respond to increases in jobseeker applications.

How to apply for Jobseeker's Payments:

In order to respond as quickly as possible to the large increase, the department would point out that there is, in many cases, no need for people to attend an office in person to submit an application.

If possible, we would ask people to:

Download the application form from our website. This can then be posted or dropped in to your local Intreo Centre

OR

Apply on our online portal (you will need a Public Services Card) - https://services.mywelfare.ie/

Section 3. Self Employed: How to apply for Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed)

If you are self-employed and your business has reduced significantly or closed, you can apply for Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed).

What Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed) is

Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed) is a payment for people between 18 and 66 who become fully or partly unemployed and have paid enough pay-related social insurance (PRSI) contributions.

Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed) is paid for nine months or six months depending on the number of social insurance contributions you have.

How to qualify

To qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed), you must:

  • be under pension age (which is currently 66)
  • satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions
  • not be engaged in self-employment
  • be capable of working and available for full-time work
  • be genuinely seeking work
  • prove unemployment in the prescribed manner

You can work as an employee for up to 3 days a week and still get Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed) for the other days as long as you are available for full-time work.

Social Insurance (PRSI) Contributions

To qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed), you must satisfy two PRSI contribution conditions.

Condition 1

You must have 156 Class “S” contributions paid or 104 Class “A” contributions paid since entering insurable employment.

Condition 2

You must have 52 Class “S” contributions paid in the governing contribution year.

The governing contribution year is the second last complete tax year before the year in which the claim is made. For example, for claims made in 2019, the governing contribution year is 2017.

Jobseekers over 62

If you are over the age of 62 and receiving Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed), you do not have to:

• Meet with a case officer in your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office

• Sign on monthly

In most cases, you can have your payment paid directly to a bank account.

Jobseekers over 65

If you are 65, or turn 65 while receiving Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed), and have at least 156 social insurance (PRSI) contribution weeks paid and have 52 PRSI Class “S” contributions paid in the governing contribution year you can continue to receive your payment up to your 66th birthday.

This applies even if your claim is due to end before that date.

How To Apply For Jobseeker's Payment (Self-Employed)

To apply, please fill in the application form (available below). This can then be posted or dropped in to your local Intreo Centre.

You should apply as soon as you are no longer self-employed otherwise you could lose some payment.

To apply, you will need the following documents, in addition to the application form:

• Identification: your Public Services Card (PSC), passport or driving licence

• Proof of your address: a recent utility bill or letter from a government department

You can apply even if you do not have all of the documents but you cannot get a decision on your application until you have provided all of the documents.

Application Form: Please complete in Black Pen using BLOCK LETTERS.

Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed) (UP1 JBSE) - Download Here.

Appeals

You can appeal a decision if you are unhappy with it. You should appeal within 21 days of the decision and you can ask for an oral hearing.

An appeals officer, whose decision is final, will then decide your case. Some cases can be decided without an oral hearing.

If new information comes to light or your circumstances change, you can apply for Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed) again.

Additional information for Self Employed people:

Extra benefits:

If you are getting Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed), you may be entitled to:

• Rent Supplement - a payment under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme - Details here.

• Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance - an allowance to help with the cost of uniforms and footwear for children who are attending school - Details here.

• Medical card - if your income is below a certain level, you may get a medical card - Details here.

• You do not qualify for the Household Benefits Package or Free Travel with Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed).

Taxation of Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed)

Jobseeker's Benefit (Self-Employed) is taxable. More info here.

Section 4. All other important COVID-19 information for both Employees and Employers.

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection:

Govt announces National COVID-19 Income Support Scheme - Emergency pandemic payment will increase from €203 to €350. Workers who have lost their jobs due to the crisis will receive an enhanced emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week (an increase from €203). Get all the details here.

• Unable to collect social welfare payments? An Post will allow you to nominate someone to collect your welfare payment. Get all the details here.

• Has your work week been cut short? Short-time Work Support Payment is now available. Details here.

• Workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 - How to apply for illness benefit?

Learn about your employment rights during COVID-19 restrictions here.

• Have you been Laid-off or made redundant? Everything you need to know here.

• Workers whose employers do not supplement the State Illness Benefit payment

• Have you been requested to stay at home by your employer due to COVID-19? Here's what you need to know.

• Help for workers who are laid off temporarily or put on to short time working

• Workers who need to take time off to care for person affected by COVID-19

Support for your business: Learn about all of the Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses here.

Employment opportunities with the HSE

Be On Call For Ireland – Sign up now.

The HSE is looking for healthcare & non healthcare professionals.

Calling all healthcare Professionals, all disciplines, retired, students and people with other skills that can help during the effects and impact of COVID-19.

Ireland needs you and you will be paid a salary in line with the role you are appointed to.

Click here for all the details.

Wishing you all health and happiness.

COVID-19: Get all of the latest updates for Employees and Employers here.

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