Know Your Rights : Self-employed people and Jobseeker’s Allowance

Know Your Rights : Self-employed people and Jobseeker’s Allowance

June 2014


My small business is not doing well at present so my income has dropped substantially. Am I entitled to any social welfare payment?


If the amount of work you are getting from self-employment has reduced so much that it no longer provides a sufficient income, you may qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance. You must meet all the conditions to qualify for this payment, including a means test, but you do not need to close your business or stop working as a self-employed person.

The earnings from your business will be assessed in the means test. The assessment must reflect the income that you may reasonably be expected to get from your business over the next 12 months. Income for the last 12 months will be taken as a guide, but the means test will also allow for any factors that are likely to vary. You should be prepared to discuss these factors when you are being assessed for the payment.

Your earnings over the 12 months are assessed as your gross income minus work-related expenses. Your expected annual earnings from self-employment are divided by 52 to find your weekly means from self-employment.

Usually, you will be asked for your receipts and payments or audited accounts for the current and previous year. For example, if you apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance in May 2014, you will be asked for your receipts and payments from January 2014 to May 2014 and for 2013. However, in certain cases you may be required to show audited accounts for the last two or more years.

You may qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance while you are waiting to be assessed for Jobseeker’s Allowance or if a decision is made that you don’t qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The website selfemployedsupports.ie has further information on the services and entitlements available.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Dungloe Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761075430 Address: Dungloe Public Services Centre.
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.