The Government is introducing a new social insurance benefit for the self-employed from this November.

The Jobseekers' Benefit (Self-Employed) will support those who lose their self-employment and who have social insurance.

Galway East TD and Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development Seán Canney told Midwest News today that this was a a key issue for him when the Programme for Government was being negotiated.

Arrangements are now under way to ensure that legislation and technical and administrative solutions are in place for the new scheme to begin in November.

In recent years, the Government has extended Treatment Benefits and Invalidity Benefit to the self-employed who have sufficient PRSI contributions.

It is estimated that up to 6,500 people could benefit from the new scheme in any one full year.

Those who do not have sufficient contributions will still be able to apply for Jobseeker's Allowance, which is means-tested. The payment rates for this scheme are the same as the Jobseeker’s Benefit scheme, as follows:

Maximum Personal Rate


Maximum Increase for a Qualified Adult


Maximum Increase for a Qualified Child (Under 12)


Maximum Increase for a Qualified Child (12 and Over)


The new benefit will be paid for 9 months for people with 260 or more self-employment PRSI contributions paid. It will be paid for 6 months for people with fewer than 260 self–employment PRSI contributions paid (the same as the current Jobseeker’s Benefit scheme).



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