Go Back   Askaboutmoney.com > General Financial Issues > Redundancy, unemployment & jobseekers' SW entitlements

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 28-11-2008, 10:31 AM
Welfarite Welfarite is offline
Frequent Poster
 
Location: Very North of D
Posts: 3,057
Default Just unemployed? Read this guide for unemployed people (Jobseekers) before posting!

In the light of the current economic climate and the increasing queries around jobseeker’s payments, I’m posting the following as a layman’s guide to what to do when becoming unemployed; please don't post individual queries in this thread as they won't be seen or replied to.



What do I do when I become unemployed?
  • Download the relevant form, print it off and complete it.
  • Attend your local Social Welfare office. Some office have appointment times for new claims now so you could ring to check before calling in. Details of addresses are on www.welfare.ie
  • Bring two forms of identification with you, one being photo ID (passport, driver’s licence), the other being proof of address (ESB bill, phone bill, etc.).
  • Other relevant documents such as p45, redundancy notice should be brought in as well but if you haven't got these, go in anyway. You can supply them later when you get them.
  • When your claim is registered, they may be a waiting period due to backlogs of claims. If you have no other income (i.e. no spouse/partner working), you can go to the Community Welfare Officer at your local Health Centre to apply for a Supplementary Welfare Allowance payment, which is means tested.
  • If you are paying a mortgage or rent, you may be entitled to Mortgage Interest Supplement or Rent Supplement. Again, this is paid through the Community Welfare Officer at your local health centre.
If you have been made redundant, see here for more information.

How do I qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit (‘stamps’) payment?



First of all, you must have 2 years PRSI paid: 104 weeks contributions. Then, you must have at least 39 weeks paid and/or credited in the governing year; in 2011 this is 2009. For every week that you work you get a 'paid' contribution. If you don't have 13 paid contributions in the relevant tax year, you must have the 13 contributions paid in any of one the following years:
  • The 2 tax years before the relevant tax year (2007 and 2008)
  • The last complete tax year (2010) or
  • The current tax year. (2011)
For every week you claim a Social Welfare payment you get a 'credited contribution'. You must also be looking for full-time employment, as well as being capable of and available to work to claim Jobseeker's.

Another way of qualifying is if you have 26 weeks PRSI paid in the relevant tax year (this year 2009) and 26 weeks PRSI paid in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year (2008).

How long does payment of benefit last?

If you have at least 5 years paid contributions (260), you will get benefit payments for 12 months (312). If you have less than the 5 years paid, you will get benefit for 9 months (240 days).

How do I re-qualifying for Jobseeker's Benefit

If you have used up your entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit (JB), you may re-qualify by working and paying the appropriate PRSI contributions for at least 13 weeks. If you are working and getting JB, as in the case of systematic short-time workers and some part-time workers, the 13 weeks paid contributions can begin once you have claimed JB for 156 days.

You must have suffered a substantial loss of employment to re-qualify for JB, unless you are a casual worker. If you have lost your job you will have suffered a substantial loss of employment. If you are a part-time or systematic short-time worker DSP will look at your pattern of employment over the last 13 weeks or another representative period to find out whether you have suffered a substantial loss of employment.

For example, if you are getting JB and working 3 days each week as a systematic short-time worker or a part-time worker and your employment pattern has not changed during the course of your JB claim, you will not have suffered a substantial loss of employment and will not re-qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit.
However, if your JB claim ends and your 3 day week working week is then reduced to a 2 day week, you will have suffered a substantial loss of employment and may re-qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit. There is more information here:
http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en...s_benefit.html

Will the amount of my redundancy payment affect my rate of benefit?


If you are 55 years or over there is no disqualification from receiving JB irrespective of the amount of the redundancy payment. If youa re under 55, you are disqualified from receiving JB for a period of up to 9 weeks from the last date of employment and have received a payment in excess €50,000. You will be disqualifed from receiving benefit for the following periods, depending on the amount over 50k you receive in redundancy payment;
  • €50,000.00 - €55,000 1 Week
  • €55,000.01 - €60,000 2 Weeks
  • €60,000.01 - €65,000 3 Weeks
  • €65,000.01 - €70,000 4 Weeks
  • €70,000.01 - €75,000 5 Weeks
  • €75,000.01 - €80,000 6 Weeks
  • €80,000.01 - €85,000 7 Weeks
  • €85,000.01 - €90,000 8 Weeks
  • €90,000.01 and over 9 Weeks
Remember, if you take voluntary redundancy, you may be disqualified for leaving your job voluntarily even if the amount you get is below the figures above. For more details about redundancy and its effect on JB, see this link.

What happens if I don’t have enough PRSI (‘stamps’) paid to qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit?

You can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance ('dole'), which is means tested. Details of how means are assessed are here, but basically, any other income is assessed as well as value of second property, savings, shares, etc.. There is no limit to how long you can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. Evenm if you don't qualify for a payment, you should continue to sign to get 'credits' so that your future Sw entitlements are preserved, including SW pensions. This is very important.

I am self-employed but my income and work has drastically reduced in the past six months. Can I claim Jobseeker’s Allowance?

If you were previously self-employed, you can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance even if you are still partly self-employed. Your reduced income will be assessed as means.
Generally, the means assessment of a self-employed person will look at his/her earnings in the preceding 12 months and these would normally be used to project estimated earnings in the coming 12 months. However, in the current economic climate past earnings may bear little or no relationship to future earnings. The Inspector will take all circumstances into consideration when conducting the means test.

What other benefits or allowances could I claim?

You may be entitled to a tax refund. If your spouse/partner is in employment over 19 hours a week, and you have children, you may qualify for Family Income Supplement (FIS). If you are having difficulty keeping up with bills, loans payments, you should contact MABS for advice. See here for a full list of supports for jobseekers.

How much can I get paid on Jobseeker's?

The amount you will get depends on how much your earnings were in the governing year and what age you are. From 31st December 2009 the rates for persons over 24 for both benefit and allowance claims are a weekly personal rate of €196.00 (and increases for a Qualified Adult €130.10 and Qualified Children €29.80 if payable). The rate of Jobseeker's Allowance is €150 per week for those aged 22-24. The maximum personal rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance for all new claims for persons under 22 years is €100.00. Note that the age-restricted amounts relate to the means-tested jobseeker's ALLOWANCE, not the PRSI-based Jobseeker's BENEFIT.
If, married or living with a partner, you get a personal rate and may get an increase for an qualified adult dependant and qualified child dependant. Your average weekly earnings do not affect the amount you get for a child dependent but will affect the qualified adult rate.

How often will I have to sign?

Initially, you may be asked to sign weekly. After first payment is made, you will generally be asked to sign on once every four weeks if you live within 10k of your local office or once every three months if you live more than 10k from the office.

Is the procedure that same if I am only reducing my hours worked?

Yes. The same form applies to all types of Jobseeker's claims (Either download UP1 or UP6 (if you have claimed in past 2 years)). You should also bring a letter from your employer about what days/ hours you will be working in the future. The amount payable for any day of unemployment (Monday to Saturday) is one-sixth of the weekly rate, except for systematic short-time workers (i.e. those reduced to working the same set days each week), when it is one-fifth of the weekly rate. In 'short-time working' cases the total number of days worked and on Jobseeker's Benefit cannot be more than 5 in any working week.
Any three days of unemployment (excluding Sundays) in a period of six consecutive days (called the '3 in 6' rule) form a period of interruption of employment (PIE). Any two PIEs not separated by more than 26 weeks are treated as one PIE, and 'linked' to older claim's qualifying conditions. In other words, the 'old' claim's qualifying conditions apply to the 'new' claim if its within 26 weeks.

Who pays for Bank Holidays when I am working reduced hours?

Casual or part-time employees must have worked at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks ending on the day before the public holiday to establish a statutory entitlement to pay in respect of a public holiday. Part-time or casual workers are not entitled to Jobseeker's Benefit or Allowance in respect of paid public holidays.
NOTE: Good Friday is a bank holiday not a public holiday therefore employers are not legally required to pay in respect of that day. If the employer does pay in respect of Good Friday, JA/JB is not payable.

Will I be entitled to any other benefits now that I am unemployed?


A Fuel Allowance of €20.00 per week is payable for 32 weeks (from September to May) to those receiving Jobseeker's Allowance for 15 months or more, but you ust be living alone or only with a qualified dependant or other eligible adults. A Smokeless Fuel Allowance (€3.90 per week) is payable to those on Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance who satisfy the following conditions:
  • Have exhausted at least 78 days JB
  • Be resident in one of the specified urban areas
  • Not have other income over €100 per week or household savings of €58,000 or more.
  • Be unable to provide for their heating needs
  • Live alone or only with a qualified dependant or other eligible recipients.
Payment of these allowances is limited to one per household.

If your hours (and income) have been reduced, you should check whether you now come under the earnings threshold for FIS.

I need more information for my particular situation. Where can I get it?

This is a link to more specific answers on the www.welfare.ie site. Another site is www.citizensinformation.ie .You can also Email the department for more information.

THIS POST IS INTENDED AS A GUIDE ONLY. No responsibility is accepted by the author or AAM for any errors, omissions or misleading statements or any site to which this post connects.

Last edited by Welfarite; 09-01-2011 at 10:20 AM. Reason: added info; updated
  #2  
Old 05-12-2008, 09:17 AM
Brendan Burgess Brendan Burgess is offline
 
Location: Dublin
Posts: 23,715
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people

Welfarite

That is really a superb piece of work. Thanks for making such a concise and useful contribution to Askaboutmoney.

Brendan
  #3  
Old 10-12-2008, 09:00 PM
shootingstar shootingstar is offline
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 624
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people

Great thread Welfarite, well done. Ive copied the link and sent it to a few people...

SS
  #4  
Old 12-12-2008, 02:16 PM
Welfarite Welfarite is offline
Frequent Poster
 
Location: Very North of D
Posts: 3,057
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people

More information on loss of employment and redundancy:

Loss of employment

You must have suffered a substantial loss of employment in any period of six consecutive days in order to be eligible for Jobseeker's Benefit. This means, you must have lost at least one day's employment and as a result of this loss be unemployed for at least 3 days out of 6 days. Your earnings must also have been reduced because of the loss of employment.




You may be disqualified from getting Jobseeker's Benefit for 9 weeks if you:
  • Left work voluntarily and without a reasonable cause
  • Lost your job through misconduct
  • Refused an offer of suitable alternative employment or suitable training. Suitable employment does not include the employment in a job that is vacant because of a trade dispute. In addition, it does not include employment in the district you last worked at a lower rate of pay or less favourable conditions than applied in you last job. Finally, suitable employment also does not include employment in another district to the one you worked in last, at a lower rate of pay or on less favourable conditions than are the general norm in that particular district.
  • Are aged under 55 and get a redundancy payment of more than €50,000. The exact length of your disqualification (up to nine weeks) will in practice, depend on the precise amount of redundancy payment you received (see keypost above).

Last edited by Welfarite; 23-02-2009 at 03:50 PM. Reason: tidy up
  #5  
Old 26-12-2008, 07:57 PM
Sue Ellen Sue Ellen is offline
*********
 
Posts: 7,354
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people

This key post might be worth a read also Key Post - Made Redundant - Checklist.
  #6  
Old 04-02-2009, 04:38 PM
Purple Purple is offline
Frequent Poster
 
Location: Suburbia
Posts: 5,996
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people

This page on the Citizens Information site on Redundancies where the whole company is closing down might be of help to some. Can anyone add a detailed post on redundancy in general?
__________________
Better to be a man of character than one of means
  #7  
Old 10-02-2009, 11:09 AM
NorthDrum NorthDrum is offline
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 301
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people

Guide regarding Loans and Liabilities for those unemployed:

Approach your bank or mortgage lender and discuss your circumstances. Dont let things accumulate and dont be embarrased about it.

You will generally find that they will try to be as flexible as possible by giving you time (moratoriums) to get your feet back on the ground. Its vitally important that people understand and consider this when they are unemployed. It can take huge pressure off somebody recently let go.

I have discussed this with a couple of Bank managers (one who is debt collecting) and Mortgage Consultants. All feel that the banks will try their best to facilitate (within reason) their clients drop in income.
  #8  
Old 03-03-2009, 01:26 PM
Bronte Bronte is offline
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 9,340
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people; What to do?

That's a brillant ' simply how to' guide. It would be great if the dept of social welfare website were so easy to navigate. I also think they could print out your guide as a leaflet/poster in their office to help people get to grips with the bureaucracy. Maybe even a weblink to this page on AAM.
  #9  
Old 05-06-2009, 03:24 PM
WhatToDo WhatToDo is offline
New User
 
Posts: 6
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people; What to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welfarite View Post
How do I qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit (‘stamps’) payment?

First of all, you must have 2 years PRSI paid: 104 weeks contributions. Then, you must have at least 39 weeks paid or credited in the governing year. In 2008, this is 2006 and from Jan 2009, this will be 2007. You must be looking for full-time employment, as well as being capable of and available to work.
Just wondering what does credited mean in the context above?

I was working and paying PAYE & PRSI for 32 weeks in the governing year (2007) and I was on Jobseeker's Benefit for the remainder of 2007. Would I qualify for JB if I was unemployed in 2009?

Thanks for this very useful info!
  #10  
Old 05-06-2009, 03:29 PM
Welfarite Welfarite is offline
Frequent Poster
 
Location: Very North of D
Posts: 3,057
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people; What to do?

For every week that you work you get a 'paid' contribution. For every week you claim a Social Welfare payment you get a 'credited' contribution.
So, in your case based on the above, in 2007 your record will read: 32 Paid contributions, 20 Credited contributions= 52. So you have more than the required 39 paid or credited in the governing year.

Last edited by Welfarite; 05-06-2009 at 03:30 PM. Reason: speeling!
  #11  
Old 30-10-2009, 07:00 PM
marymac
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people; What to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welfarite View Post
For every week that you work you get a 'paid' contribution. For every week you claim a Social Welfare payment you get a 'credited' contribution.
So, in your case based on the above, in 2007 your record will read: 32 Paid contributions, 20 Credited contributions= 52. So you have more than the required 39 paid or credited in the governing year.
excellent info-have used it in all my ESol classes for unemployed migrant workers but a question for you-you write 'a paid contribution for every week worked' ....is it always calculated by 5 day week or can it be calculated in days ? i.e I am working for 2 days ,signing the rest (JBenefit) for the last 8 months....can I use any paid/creditited contributions towards staying on benefit? I hope that makes sense
  #12  
Old 02-11-2009, 08:16 AM
Welfarite Welfarite is offline
Frequent Poster
 
Location: Very North of D
Posts: 3,057
Default Re: Guide for unemployed people; What to do?

Yes, Marymac, one day's work is treated as a paid contribution as it's % based. In general, you don't get a 'credited' contribution if you are claiming less that 6 days benefit/allowance so this compensates for that.

Last edited by Welfarite; 03-02-2010 at 02:48 AM. Reason: clarification
  #13  
Old 04-06-2010, 02:09 AM
Welfarite Welfarite is offline
Frequent Poster
 
Location: Very North of D
Posts: 3,057
Default

Changes to the Rent Supplement Scheme from 1 June 2009

The following changes to the rent supplement scheme were announced in the recent Supplementary Budget.
From 27 July 2009
  • New qualifying conditions were introduced restricting rent supplement to those
    • who have been assessed by a local authority as eligible and in need of social housing or
    • who have already been residing in private rented accommodation and/or accommodation for homeless persons for 6 months
From 1 June 2009
  • The maximum amount of rent for which a supplement can be paid has been reduced
  • The minimum contribution which a person pays towards rent has been increased by €6 to €24 a week.
  • Rent supplement payments have been further reduced by 8%
Full Assessment of Housing Need
  • From 27th July 2009, new applicants for a rent supplement musthave been residing in private rented accommodation or accommodation for homeless persons (or any combination of these) for a period of 183 days (6 months) within the preceding 12 months of the date of claim for Rent Supplement,
or
  • have had an assessment of housing need carried out within the 12 months preceding the date of claim and have been deemed by the relevant local authority to be eligible for and in need of social housing support.
Where the above requirements are met, a person will not be referred to a local authority for an assessment of housing need at initial claim stage. The assessment of the claim for Rent Supplement will proceed in the normal way.
In all other cases, a person who wishes to apply for Rent Supplement will be referred, in the first instance, for an assessment of eligibility for social housing support by the local housing authority in the area where claim to Rent Supplement is made (and the person intends to reside). Only when the person has been assessed as being eligible for and in need of social housing support, does the person become eligible for consideration for Rent Supplement.
Rent Supplement is not payable while a housing needs assessment is being undertaken. Some limited exceptions may apply.
Any questions you may have in relation to your housing needs assessment should be made to your local housing authority

Rent Limits

From 1 June 2009, maximum rent limits are being reduced by 6% to 7% on average, ranging up to 10%, depending on location and household size. The reductions reflect the downward trends in the private rental market. The new rent limits are shown here.
The revised rent limits will apply to new tenancies from 1 June 2009 and to existing rent supplement recipients either moving to new accommodation or seeking a review of entitlement from that date.
Increased Minimum Contribution / Reduction of 8%

The minimum contribution which a person pays towards rent is being increased by €6 from €18 to €24 a week from 1 June 2009 and a further 8% reduction has been made from the same date. All existing recipients of rent supplement have had their payment automatically reduced and each person has been notified by letter of the details of the reduction in their payment.

Questions which may arise on the reduction in rent supplement payments are answered below.

Am I automatically entitled to rent supplement if I am made unemployed?

Unless you have been in private rented accommodation or in homeless accommodation for 6 months or more, you must undergo a housing needs assessment by your local authority and be deemed eligible for and in need of social housing support before you can apply for rent supplement. Other conditions will apply.
Where do I get my housing needs assessment?

The housing needs assessment will be carried out by your local authority.
I am on a long-term Social Welfare payment, do I still have to be assessed by my local authority?

Yes, unless you have been in private rented or in homeless accommodation for 6 months or more, you must undergo a housing needs assessment by your local authority and be deemed eligible for and in need of social housing support before you can apply rent supplement.
Will Rent Supplement be paid while I am waiting for my housing needs assessment to be completed

Rent Supplement is not payable while a housing needs assessment is being undertaken, though there may be some exceptions.
How long will it take for a local housing authority to complete my housing needs assessment?

This is a matter for the local authorities and you should contact them concerning any queries in relation to the housing needs assessment.
Why are rent limits and current rent supplement payments being reduced?

The maximum amount of rent for which a supplement can be paid was last reviewed in mid 2008. Since then rents in the private sector have fallen substantially. It is essential that state support for tenants does not give rise to inflated rental prices.
The contribution of €24 a week is more in line with the minimum rent typically paid to local authorities in various parts of the country by their tenants.
When are the changes being implemented?

The reductions in rent payments are being implemented automatically for the majority of customers by 1st June. Reductions for those paid fortnightly, four-weekly or quarterly will be made by Community Welfare Officers.
What reductions are being made?

The minimum contribution which a person pays towards rent is being increased by €6 to €24 a week from 1 June 2009 and the balance of the payment is being reduced by a further 8% from the same date. A small number of people currently receiving very low payments may no longer qualify for a rent supplement payment because of these reductions.
Will people be told what the reduction is in their payment?

Those currently receiving a rent supplement payment are being advised by letter in advance of the reduction being made to their rent supplement payment. Most should receive this letter in the week commencing 25 May 2009. The letter provides details of (i) the rent supplement in payment prior to 1 June 2009, (ii) the reductions being made and (iii) the resulting new rent supplement payment from 1 June 2009.
An online calculator is also available here where a person can work out the reduction to be applied to their current rent supplement payment.
Are landlords being advised of the changes?

An advertisement is being placed in newspapers in the week commencing 25 May 2009 to advise landlords of the reductions in rent payments. Given the rental market trends and availability of rental properties, landlords are being asked to respond positively to tenants who present their letter seeking a reduction in rent.


What should a person in receipt of rent supplement do now?

If a person wishes to talk to their landlord to seek a reduction in their rent payment they can show the landlord the letter from the Department as evidence of the reduced rent supplement payment.
What are the new maximum rent limits for Rent Supplement?
The new maximum rent limits for rent supplement are shown here. The limits have been reduced by up 6% to 7% on average, ranging up to 10%, depending on the location and household size. The reductions reflect the downward trends in the private rental market and are aligned with the reductions being applied to existing rent supplement tenants.
How will the changes affect a person who moves house?

Existing rent supplement tenants who move to new accommodation or seek a review of entitlement to rent supplement on and from 1 June 2009 will have their claim decided on by reference to the new rent limits. Their weekly contribution towards their rent will be €24 from the same date.
What happens if the landlord refuses to reduce the rent being charged?

As there isnow a large number of rental properties vacant across the country, a person can look for new accommodation at a more reasonable rent.
The local Community Welfare Officer can also be contacted especially if circumstances have changed in any individual case since entitlement to rent supplement was last reviewed.
Is there anyone else who can help with advice?

The Money Advice and Budgeting Service operate a helpline which operates from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday on 1890 283 438. The Helpline Advisers can assist people in dealing with money management issues. For more information see 'www.mabs.ie'.
The Private Residential Tenancies Board provides information and a dispute resolution service for landlords and tenants. More information is available on 'www.prtb.ie'.
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:18 PM.