How to access Jobseekers Allowance and Jobseeker’s Benefit during the outbreak of Coronavirus

By March 16, 2020For Talent

Know your rights with regards to Jobseekers Allowance and Jobseekers Benefit.

Over the last few days, Ireland as a nation entered the ‘delay phase’ of the COVID-19 outbreak. What does this mean?

All schools, childcare and educational facilities have closed, all indoor gatherings of more than 100 people or outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people have been cancelled and all State-run cultural institutions have closed. 

Also last night, the Government ordered the closure of bars and pubs all over Ireland. 

These moves have not been taken lightly, and are, of course, in the interest of public safety. However, the decisions made by the government have left a lot of people out of work. 

If you are in a position where you are out of work at the moment, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, you are probably wondering what your rights and entitlements are. 

jobseekers allowance

If your employer has closed their business during period it is referred to as  a temporary lay-off.

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has asked all employers to try their best in paying employees a minimum of €203 per week. She said that all employers who do so will be reimbursed by the government for each of the payments made.

This may not be a realistic option for many, and if your employer cannot pay for this period, you can apply for Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

During this outbreak, there will be a new payment of €203 per week for six weeks and those who wish to apply will be required to fill out a one-page application form.

You can download the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment here, and once completed it should be free-posted to PO BOX 12896, Dublin 1. You do not have to visit an Intreo office to avail of this payment. 

If your employer reduces your hours to 3 days or less per week from your normal full-time hours, you can apply for a payment called Short Time Work Support which is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit. 

For more information on your rights and entitlements during this time, head over to Citizens Information

Author Rebecca O'Keeffe

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