To qualify for a social assistance payment, a person must satisfy, in addition to a number of other conditions, the legislative requirements as to means.
A person in receipt of unemployment assistance or pre-retirement allowance, whose spouse-partner is insurably employed, is assessed with the spouse-partner's earnings, which are calculated on a net basis, i.e. less income tax, PRSI, superannuation, trade union dues and health insurance premiums, with a further disregard for certain expenses.
The additional sum disregarded to take account of expenses associated with employment, is calculated depending on the number of days the spouse-partner works each week, as follows: working three days or less per week –€38.09, plus travel expenses, where appropriate; working four or more days per week – a standard rate of €88.88. The arrangement for someone working four or more days recognises the extra travel expenses a person may incur when working over a greater number of days per week.