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New rules mean that many people under 26 will be paid a lower rate of Jobseekers Allowance if they make a new claim.  People who already receive a payment should not be affected.  However there are a number of important exceptions to the rules and if any of the below applies it may be that you are entitled to the full rate of payment of €188:

  • If you have dependent children
  • If you were in the care of the HSE in the year before you turned 18
  • If you were claiming Disability Allowance or One Parent Family Payment immediately before claiming Jobseekers
  • If you were already in receipt of a Jobseekers payment or in a government scheme (eg. Fás course, Youthreach) when the rules first changed (30th April 2009 for 18/19 year olds, 30th December 2009 for those 20 or older)

It is important to remember that if you come off your Jobseekers Allowance claim and then re-apply within one year, that your claim may link back to your previous claim, and you will be considered to have been unemployed from the date of your first claim.  This can help you qualify for a higher rate of payment.

We recommend that everyone who has a lower rate applied to them should check to see if one of the above exceptions applies to them.  If you have been paid the wrong rate because of a mistake by the Department, you may be able to get your payment backdated.