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Jobseeker's Benefit

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 21 April 2021

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Questions (1140, 1141, 1142, 1143, 1149, 1150, 1185, 1192)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

1140. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason the 156/234 day allowance for jobseeker’s benefit has not been extended to those who are in receipt of this payment as a direct result of the pandemic and associated restrictions. [19128/21]

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Sorca Clarke

Question:

1141. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason aviation staff, many of whom have already experienced a significant decrease in their earnings, are told by her Department that they must experience a further substantial loss of earnings in order to requalify for casual jobseeker’s benefit. [19129/21]

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Sorca Clarke

Question:

1142. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Social Protection the continued financial supports that are available to those whose working hours have been significantly reduced as a result of the current pandemic and its associated restrictions; and her plans to extend the criteria needed to qualify for casual jobseeker’s allowance. [19130/21]

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Sorca Clarke

Question:

1143. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Social Protection the financial supports that are available to those whose working hours have been significantly reduced as a result of the current pandemic and its associated restrictions when they have exhausted the current qualifying criteria for casual jobseeker’s benefit (details supplied). [19131/21]

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Claire Kerrane

Question:

1149. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will extend the time a person can remain on jobseeker’s benefit in which they have lost days at work due to Covid-19; if she will suspend the rules around requalification to allow workers to retain the income support; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19278/21]

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Claire Kerrane

Question:

1150. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to issues facing workers (details supplied) that are coming to the end of their claim on jobseeker’s benefit due to the six month, nine month rule and that rely on this income support; the action she plans to take to address this issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19279/21]

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Mick Barry

Question:

1185. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Social Protection if measures will be taken to ensure that workers of a company (details supplied) who are being informed that their jobseeker's benefit will be coming to an end will have additional income supports to maintain their incomes during the Covid-19 restrictions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20170/21]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

1192. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection her plans to help provide further income support for aviation workers with particular reference to applicants who have been informed that their jobseeker's benefit is due to come to an end and that hours and income must be reduced further in order to requalify for continuing assistance; the steps that can be taken to ensure continuity of assistance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20352/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1140, 1141, 1142, 1143, 1149, 1150, 1185 and 1192 together.

The two main statutory income support payments provided by my Department for people who lose employment and who are continuing to work part-time are Jobseekers Benefit, based on a person’s pay related social insurance contributions paid while in employment, and the means tested Jobseekers Allowance scheme.

Short-Time Work Support (STWS) is a social insurance income support payment provided under the Jobseekers Benefit scheme to employees who have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week by their employer and are not being remunerated for the days of unemployment.

The duration of payment for Jobseeker’s Benefit is 234 days for people with 260 or more PRSI contributions paid. It is paid for 156 days for people with fewer than 260 PRSI contributions paid. It is a fundamental feature of a range of the Department's benefit payments, including for example Jobseeker's Benefit, Illness Benefit and Maternity Benefit, that they are time limited based on a person's PRSI contribution record..

Where a person exhausts their entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit, they may be eligible for support under the Jobseeker's Allowance scheme which has no limit as long as a person meets the conditions of the scheme. including the means test.

A person whose entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit is due to expire is contacted in advance and advised that they may be eligible for Jobseeker's Allowance. An application for Jobseeker's Allowance is included in this correspondence. An individual should be advised to submit an application for Jobseeker's Allowance in these circumstances.

I trust this this clarifies the position for the Deputies.

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