It is planned that the new scheme of jobseekers benefit for the self-employed which I announced as part of Budget 2019 will be introduced from November this year. The Social Welfare Bill 2019 will provide for the necessary legislation required to introduce this new scheme and is progressing through the Houses of the Oireachtas. Once enacted, jobseeker’s benefit self-employed will be payable to individuals who lose their self-employment and as a consequence are no longer engaged in self-employment. To qualify for the scheme a person will have to satisfy the qualifying conditions including a PRSI contribution condition.
As with any new demand led scheme it is difficult to forecast the numbers that will apply and qualify. Factors such as labour market conditions and the prevailing economic conditions will affect the take up of this scheme. The Department estimates that some 1,000 could benefit from the scheme in 2019 and approximately 6,500 could benefit at any point in time in a full year. A breakdown of this information on a county basis is not currently available.
I trust that this information is of assistance to the Deputy.