MORE than 50 formerly
self-employed people have been awarded Jobseeker’s
Benefit since the introduction of a new scheme
earlier this month.
A total of 116 applications for the ‘self-employed
dole’ were lodged in the first two weeks of the
scheme which began on November 1.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social
Protection confirmed that 53 of the applications
have since been granted.
A number of applications have been refused but
others are awaiting decision.
“During the first two weeks of the new scheme, the
Department of Employment Affairs and Social
Protection has received 116 applications for
Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self-Employed,” said a
“Of the 116 claims, 53 were awarded and 15 were
disallowed. The remaining 48 claims are awaiting
The benefit was given the green light by the
Government last year, some ten years after the
economy crashed leaving thousands of self-employed
people without work and “with very little support
from the State”.
It is paid to successful applicants, with 260 or
more PRSI contributions, for a period of nine months
or six months to those with fewer.
Rates of pay are the same as regular Jobseeker’s
Benefit with a personal rate of €203 per week and
increases for qualified adults and children.
A person’s self-employment must have completely
ceased so temporary closure of a business or
seasonal reduction will not be covered.
The new scheme is expected to cost €31 million in
2020 - its first full year of operation.
The Department yesterday said it is committed to
processing applications “as quickly as possible”.
“In line with the existing Jobseeker’s Benefit
scheme, it is expected that these new claims for the
self-employed will generally be processed within one
week of receipt where all the necessary information
is provided,” the spokesperson added.