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Available for

Seeking Work

  There are 2 types of unemployment payments:
  1. Unemployment Benefit
  2. Unemployment Assistance
   To get either of these, you must be:
  • Fully or partly unemployed (i.e. at least 3 days within 6 working days)
  • Looking for work
  • Capable of work
  • Available for work, and
  • Under the age of 66
   Unemployment Benefit (UB) is based on your PRSI
  record. To qualify, you must have:
  • 39 weeks PRSI paid since starting work and
  • 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited in the relevant tax year (i.e. the last complete income tax year before the year you claim).
PRSI classes A, H & P count.
If you are employed and earn £30 a week or more, you will pay PRSI Class A.
Unemployment Assistance (UA)
If you are aged 18 or over, you may be paid UA
 if you don't qualify for UB or if you have used up
 your entitlements to UB.  It's based on a means
test and your means must be below a certain
In general, your means are any income, savings
or property (not your own home) that you or your
spouse/partner may have.
If you live at home with your parents, you may
be assessed with some of their income.
If you are getting either UB or UA, you may be
entitled to:
  • Rent/Mortgage Interest Supplement - a payment from the Community Welfare Officer at your local health centre to help you with your rent or mortgage payments - contact your local Health Board.
  • Fuel Allowance - a weekly payment paid from mid-October to mid-April to assist with heating costs (with Unemployment Assistance after 15  months).
  • Smokeless Fuel Allowance - a weekly payment as above to meet the extra costs of using smokeless fuels in certain areas of Dublin & Cork where the sale of bituminous fuel is banned (with Unemployment Benefit and Unemployment Assistance after 13 weeks).
  • Butter Vouchers - if you are getting Unemployment Assistance, you will be entitled to Butter Vouchers each month for yourself and your dependents.
  • Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance - helps you towards the cost of clothing and footwear for children of school going age and is payable from the beginning of June to end of September each year - contact your local Health Board.
  • Medical Card - if your income is below certain  guidelines, you may get a Medical Card.  It covers you for free doctor's care, prescriptions etc. - contact your local   Health Board.
To Qualify for Unemployment Benefit or Assistance, you must at all times be:
  • capable of work
  • available for, and
  • genuinely seeking work.