Supports available to people on a Jobseeker's payment - SW126

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Can I work part-time and keep my jobseeker's payment?

Often, if you start casual or part-time work, it is possible to keep all or part of your jobseeker’s payment depending on the days you work and the level of pay you receive. You must inform your local Intreo Centre or your local Branch Office if you are starting work.

You must meet all the conditions for Jobseeker's Allowance (JA) or Jobseeker’s Benefit (JB). For example, you must continue to look for full-time work and if on JA, satisfy the means test.

If you are self-employed and your business ceases or if you are on low income, you may apply for the meanstested Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Family Income Supplement (FIS)

FIS is a weekly tax-free payment available to low paid workers, with at least one dependent child.

To qualify for FIS, you must satisfy the following conditions:

  • your average weekly family income must be below a certain limit (based on your family size),

  • and
  • you must be in paid employment for at least 19 hours a week or 38 hours a fortnight. The employment must be likely to last for 3 months.

The amount you receive is 60% of the difference between your weekly family income and the income limit which applies to your family size. Weekly family income is made up of average net assessable earnings and any other income your family may have.

Part-time Job Incentive Scheme (PTJI)

This scheme allows some long-term unemployed people to take up part-time work for less than 24 hours a week and qualify for a weekly allowance instead of their jobseeker’s payment. The part-time work must be likely to last for at least two months. Initially, you can stay on the PTJI scheme for one year, but this may be extended for a further period. While on the scheme, you must continue to look for fulltime work. You may also qualify for Family Income Supplement.

Back to Work Family Dividend

The Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) scheme provides financial support to Jobseeker and One- Parent Family Payment (OFP) recipients with children, who end their claim and who are in or take up employment or self- employment.

If you meet the eligibility criteria of the scheme, you will be entitled to a weekly payment for up to 2 years following the ending of your social welfare claim.

You may be eligible for the scheme if you are aged under 66, have at least one qualified child and are on one of the following payments:

  • Jobseeker’s Benefit or Allowance for at least 12 months in total (and at least 6 months in the last year),
  • One-Parent Family Payment,
  • Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment (JST).

Your family must exit welfare (other than Family Income Supplement (FIS) and Child Benefit) by either, being in or taking up employment or self-employment.

First Steps - Youth Development Internships

The First Steps program is part of the EU Youth Guarantee and will offer a young person aged 18 to 24, who has had little or no experience of working, the opportunity to learn basic work skills and social skills while on a placement in a real work situation.

Participation on the scheme is wholly voluntary, although placements will be offered and suitable candidates encouraged to participate accordingly.

To qualify for participation on First Steps, a candidate must be:

  • Aged between 18-24,


  • Be unemployed for at least 12 months.


  • If unemployed less than 12 months, be considered by a Case Officer to face a significant barrier in his/her efforts to find work,
  • Referred by a Case Officer.

Qualifying payments for participation on First Steps include the following:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Jobseeker’s Benefit
  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment
  • Disability Allowance
  • Blind Person’s Pension
  • Signing for Credits

Time spent on Active Labour Market Programmes (ALMPs) will count towards eligibility for First Steps, provided the programme has been completed in full and the person was 18 years or older while on the programme and is in receipt of a payment immediately prior to the First Steps placement.


EURES, the European Employment Services Network, was established by the European Commission to facilitate the free movement of workers between the European Union (EU)/ European Economic Area (EEA) countries. At European level EURES is a cooperation network formed by the public employment services in all EU/EEA Countries consisting of 1000+ trained EURES advisers and a European database with over 1 million employment opportunities throughout Europe

In Ireland, EURES is coordinated by the European Employment Services section of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. There are 16 EURES Advisers located throughout Ireland who can be contacted through local Intreo Centres.

EURES advisers support jobseekers and employers in Ireland, wishing to avail of job and recruitment opportunities in the wider European Labour Market.

EURES Ireland is currently implementing the ‘EYE’ ‘Experience Your Europe’ programme.

There are 2 options promoted under the ‘EYE’ Programme.

Option 1: Your first EURES Job

Through your first EURES job, jobseekers aged 18-35 can qualify for financial support for an interview trip abroad, or for relocation expenses when taking up a job in another EU Country. (You must apply in advance of travelling for interview/or prior to relocating).

Option 2: The Co- Sponsored Placement Programme

The Co-Sponsored Placement programme supports jobseekers, aged 18-30, in taking up a work placement in another European Country for up to 12 months. During this time the jobseeker will be co-sponsored by EURES Ireland and the employer offering the work placement. This programme provides opportunities for jobseekers to gain experience and upskill in their chosen career. The experience gained will increase their job prospects on their return to Ireland.

If you would like more information on any of the supports and services provided by EURES please email

Community Employment (CE)

Community Employment (CE) is a part-time employment scheme. It helps long-term unemployed people re-enter the active workforce by breaking their experience of unemployment through a return-towork routine.

The programme will help you develop both your personal and work skills. There are two options:

  • part-time integration (1 year),

  • and
  • part-time job scheme (up to 3 years).

You work on average 19.5 hours each week. To qualify, you must have been getting certain social welfare payments for 12 months or more.


Tús is a community work placement scheme. It provides short-term working opportunities in community and voluntary organisations, in both urban and rural areas. Participants work on average 19.5 hours a week for 12 months.

 To be eligible to participate on Tús, the following will apply:

  • A person must have been continuously unemployed for 12 months and currently be in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance payment,

  • or
  • Be in receipt of Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment (JST). No qualifying period applies to JST.


Gateway is a labour activation scheme providing short -term work opportunities in City & County Councils, for an average of 19.5 hours a week for 22 months.

Participants must:

  • Have been continuously unemployed for 24 months and currently be in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance payment,

  • or
  • Be in receipt of Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment (JST). No qualifying period applies to JST.

Rural Social Scheme (RSS)

This scheme provides income support for farmers and fishermen/women who are in receipt of specific social welfare payments. In return, local communities benefit from the work carried out by participants on RSS.

Listed below are some of the social welfare payments that apply:

  • Adult Dependants of customers on certain social welfare payments if they are actively farming
  • Blind Person’s Pension
  • Deserted Wives Benefit/Allowance
  • Disability Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment (JST)
  • One-Parent Family Payment
Last modified:22/05/2017