Claiming Jobseeker's Benefit & casual/freelance work


Registered User
I was made redundant by a company in the media/marketing world two months ago. I am currently receiving Jobseeker's Benefit.

This payment, of course, far from covers the cost of paying a mortgage and supporting a family, but €198.50 a week seems to be all I'm entitled to. I am meeting an Officer at my local Intreo to understand more about my options.

The background is, I changed careers a few years go, and I am desparate to get back into full-time employment to continue building on this. However, jobs in my line of work are rarely advertised. Networking and taking on occasional work that can lead to full-time roles is the most effective strategy to get a job, and in a way that preserves my earning potential (I'm way too experienced and long-in-the-tooth to be an 'intern').

I've taken determined steps on the networking/casual interviewing front.

However, I'm terrified of accepting occasional work and losing my Jobseeker's Allowance.

I have no intention of striking out as a free-lancer - it's a huge commitment and, at this stage in my new career, it doesn't make sense. Therefore, I don't believe the Back to Work Enterprise Scheme suits my plan at all. All other options I've read about online don't seem particularly good.

It also took me long enough to convince Revenue that I'm no longer self-employed (having been a pure full-time PAYE worker for the last 5 years), and I'm not thrilled about re-registering as one until I know if all this hassle would be worth it.

I've read that I can still claim JB if I work no more than two days out of seven, but the nature of this work is based on agency need - sometimes, that works fine, other times, agencies require full-time for a limited period, and then you're back scratching about for work that may not come for quite some time. If, over time, one thing led to another resulting in a reliable volume of work that I'd be confident enough in establishing on a firmer footing, I would consider exploring that further, I could consider that.

But it's not my back-to-work strategy right now.

I'm also terrified of giving Welfare the wrong impression and them taking some action, but maybe I'm being paranoid.

Any advice, experiences to share would be much appreciated. Thanks.


Frequent Poster
Hi Potlatch,

There isnt one question mark within your post. What is your specific question?

I dont think one can work casually/on a freelance basis and still get jsb/jsa, unless, as you say, its restricted to just 2 days per week. Otherwise, I think that patently flies in the face of the jsb/jsa.


Frequent Poster
Dont be paranoid.
Meet the staff in Intreo and explain that you are hoping to be offered free-lance work while looking for a full-time job. They will explain how to claim JSB for the days / weeks that you are not working. They will be well used to this situation.