Jobseekers Benefit for the Self Employed.

Allowing entitlement to Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self-Employed was announced in Budget 2019.
It is due to start in November 2019 and will be payable to self-employed PRSI contributors who lose their businesses and are no longer engaged in self-employment.

  • Duration
    • 9 months to people with 260 or more PRSI contributions
    • 6 months to those with fewer than 260 PRSI contributions
  • Rates will also be the same as those paid to employees (currently a maximum of €203 per week.)
  • Tax – payments will be subject to tax, in line with the current Jobseeker’s Benefit scheme for employees. 

Jobseeker’s Benefit rates are dependent on what a claimants’ average weeky earnings were in the ” relevant tax year”.

Someone earning €300 or more a week will be entitled to the full €203 a week Jobseekers Benefit.
Someone earning between €220 and €299.99 a week will get €159 Jobseekers Benefit a week.
The lowest rate of Jobseekers Benefit is €91.10 a week for people earning under €150 a week.
Average weekly earnings are calculated as gross yearly earnings from self employment divided by the number of PRSI contributions in the relevant tax year.

The relevant tax year is 2 years before the year of your claim. For example, if you claim Jobseeker’s Benefit in 2019 the relevant tax year is 2017. If you only qualify for a reduced JB payment, it may be of greater benefit for you to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance instead of Jobseeker’s Benefit.

It is estimated that the cost of the new scheme will be approximately €31 million in 2020 – the first full year of operation.


More Rules :

  • If someone works in any week in a self-employed capacity they will not be entitled to payment for that week.
  • Applicants will be disqualified for receiving payment for up to 9 weeks where they do not engage with activation measures or offers of employment, training or education
  • Applicants will be disqualified for receiving payment for up to 9 weeks where they become unemployed by selling their business.
  • Where a person’s self-employment has ceased the Department will not request that the business is de-registered with Revenue as part of this process.
  • The ending of self-employment cannot be attributed to a normal seasonal reduction or temporary closure of the business.