Who is eligible for social welfare in Ireland?

If you are someone who lost their job or is being paid less for specific reasons, you will be eligible to apply for social welfare from the government.

Finding a job in the current job market can be quite the task and social welfare in Ireland is something that can help you through the process. In some cases, there are no responses from the company for a prolonged period and the worst part is that the wait is highly likely to leave you broke and stressed. The constant hustle makes you wonder if there is any way to make some money while you still focus on your chosen career. So here are the answers to your ultimate question, who is eligible for social welfare in Ireland?

What is social welfare?

If you are someone who lost their job or is being paid less for specific reasons, you will be eligible to apply for social welfare from the government. You will be able to avail these payments if:

  • You lost your job or left it for certain reasons.
  • the company you work at closes or employees are laid off to reduce staff in a company (redundant).
  • Your work hours are reduced.
  • You are self-employed and the amount of projects has reduced.

Jobseeker’s Benefit vs. Jobseeker’s Allowance

It is also to be noted that there are two kinds of social welfare payments available to the citizens of Ireland at the moment- Jobseeker’s Benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Jobseeker’s Benefit can be claimed when you were employed in the past and have paid the Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI). It is usually deducted from your salary and gives you the option to use it when you are in dire need of it. This is more like a pension scheme and there is nothing better than having some savings when you are struggling to pay the bills.

The second option is for the people that have never worked or are working on a part-time or casual basis. Under this provision, you are required to go through a means test which calculates if your income falls behind a certain threshold.

Am I eligible for social welfare in ireland if I quit my job?

This situation is slightly tricky if you voluntarily quit your job. There are certain criterias to be met but you will be eligible for it in most cases. You might need to justify your decision to leave the job and if there is any case of misconduct from the company’s end, reduction in pay or harassment of any sort, you will be made eligible for either of the two welfare schemes.

Are immigrants or international students eligible for social welfare?

The welfare payments are available to all citizens who are Irish and residing in Ireland but is it the same for migrant workers and students who have moved to the country? If you are a national of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), you will be eligible to claim both Jobseeker’s Benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance. In case you are seeking Jobseeker’s Benefit, your social insurance contributions from your home country will also be added on to qualify and claim a good amount.

The EU and EEA citizens also have the option to go for Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA), where you can claim money for as long as you are unemployed, if you have worked for more than 12 months in Ireland. If you have only been employed for less than 12 months in the country then you will receive monthly payment for six months through the SWA.

Are non-EU immigrants eligible for welfare payments?

Non-EU immigrants can only claim Jobseeker’s Benefit, which means that they are only eligible if they have been employed in the past and have enough social insurance contributions. International students, on the other hand, are not eligible for social welfare.

How do I apply for social welfare in Ireland?

To apply for any of the two social welfare payments, you have to visit a local Intreo or social welfare office. Here, you will be interacting with a receptionist who will look into what exactly you are eligible for. Every application is first considered for Jobseeker’s Benefit before you are considered for Jobseeker’s Allowance. 

Once you understand what exactly you can apply for, you will be assigned a Deciding Officer. They will review your application and document, which will eventually lead to a decision. 

Nothing to worry too much about! The staff members are extremely helpful with both documents and the application process, which makes it so much easier and less stressful.  

Hope this helps you clear out your doubts about social welfare! And, all the best on your job hunt!

To read more informative on social welfare, check out these link Babylon:

Sania Kadar
Sania Kadar

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