It is a difficult feat to make sense of all Irish government services, whether you have just arrived on the shore or you have been living on the island for quite some time. This is a comprehensive guide that explains everything you need to know to get you started.
Main topics: PPS, PSC, MyWelfare, MyGovID, Jobseeker’s Payments, and Other Benefits
Getting started: PPSN and PSC
The first thing you should do when coming to Ireland is to obtain PPSN (personal public service number). It is a unique set of seven numbers that allow you to get access to any welfare, social and health services in Ireland. To be eligible for it, you need to show proof of identity (passport) and address (any utility or financial bill), as well as your reason for applying.
Once you have your PPSN, you can then apply for PSC (public services card). The card authenticates your identity to all government bodies, meaning you will not have to prepare the same documents again and again. To apply, you will need to make a face-to-face appointment at your local Intreo Centre through your MyWelfare.ie.
Accessing services: MyWelfare and MyGovID
MyWelfare is an interface that lets you access all types of services in Ireland, allowing you to also make PSC and PPSN appointments online as mentioned above.
To log in to the website MyWelfare.ie, you need to create MyGovID. MyGovID brings your PSC online which lets you access not only welfare services but also MyRevenue (a website where you can view all documents relating to your tax). Registering for MyGovID is simple.
First, create a Basic Account which takes less than 2 minutes. All you need is an email address and your name. Then, verify your account using your phone, PSC, and PPSN.
Range of Irish government services
Now that you have your PPSN, PSC and MyGovID, you are all set. Apply for any Irish government services you may wish to receive through MyWelfare. The following is a comprehensive list of Irish government services you may be eligible for.
Irish government services during Covid-19 pandemic:
Covid-19 Unemployment Payment: This is an emergency payment that is being given to any person (regardless of nationality) who has lost his/her job due to the pandemic. The payment is set at a flat rate of €350. However, it is expected to be cut in the future for those who were previously earning less than €200 per week before March.
Payments for Self-Isolation or COVID-19 diagnosis: In the case that you were advised by your doctors to self-isolate due to a suspected case of Covid-19, you can receive €350 for two weeks. You need a Certificate of Incapacity for Work or an equivalent eCert from your GP. The payment may continue if your illness is confirmed and you need longer treatment.
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Jobseeker’s payments apply to those who suffered any loss of income, including if you were made part-time (working up to 3 days per week). You should apply for this even if you are receiving the Covid-19 Unemployment Payment as this will ensure you continue to receive payment after its discontinuation. Unlike the emergency payment, you need to be available for full-time employment. You must also be between the ages of 18 to 66 years. Students who are enrolled in full-time education automatically disqualify.
There are several jobseeker’s payments available:
Jobseeker’s Benefit: If you have paid enough PRSI (pay related social insurance) contribution, you can receive Jobseeker’s Benefit for a period of 6 to 9 months depending on your contribution. The rate of payment has been temporarily increased to €147 until 6 August. You can view the rate of payment here. Self-employed people can also apply.
Jobseeker’s Allowance: You must satisfy a means test to be eligible for this payment, where your level of income should be deemed less than a certain threshold. You must have also been habitually living in Ireland. It means you must hold a legal right of residency in Ireland. You should also present evidence to stay in the country for the foreseeable future.
Short-Time Work Support: As part of Jobseeker’s Allowance scheme, people can receive compensation for any loss of income due to being made part-time (working less than 3 days).
Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment: This is a payment set up for lone parents with children between the ages of 7 to 14 years. You can work part-time while on this payment and do not have to be seeking employment. The rate of payment is €203 per week plus any payment for any qualified children.
For the young, the elderly and the sick:
The Irish government is also generous for families and newborns alike. It supports parents who are expecting a child or need time-off for their children. See the list of benefits available for families down below.
Paternity Benefit: You can apply for your paid leave from the government to take care of your spouse/cohabitant who is expecting a child. It also applies to parents who are adopting a child. Fathers can take a consecutive 2 weeks off and will receive €245 per week.
Maternity Benefit: The benefit applies allows mothers to tend to their young for a duration of 26 weeks, covering 6 days out of 7 week-days. The expecting parent should apply for the benefit 6 weeks prior to their intended leave. It is 12 weeks if you are self-employed. The same applies to Paternity Benefit. Mothers who have recently terminated their work can also apply for this benefit.
Child Benefit: Children under the age of 16 years also receive a monthly payment from the government. You can still apply if your child is fully dependant on you until the age of 18. The rate is €140 per month for each child.
Parent Benefit: This benefit is in addition to Paternity and Maternity benefits. It allows any parent to care for their child while on paid leave. You need your employer’s permission and your child’s PPSN.
The list of other services includes calculating your Pension, checking your eligibility for Treatment benefits, and finding a job.