Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Rates
439. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if persons under the age of 25 receive an increased jobseeker’s payment when living alone; and if this applies to homeless persons of the same age. [62474/21]
Reduced rates for young Jobseekers Allowance recipients, currently paid at €112.70 per week, were introduced on a phased basis from 2009 to tackle high youth unemployment and avoid long term welfare dependency. A key feature of the introduction of the reduced rates was that subsequent participation in full-time education and training would lead to an increased rate in payment. As a result, if a young jobseeker on a reduced Jobseeker's Allowance payment participates on an education or training programme they receive the maximum weekly personal payment of €203. Where a young jobseeker participates on the new Work Placement Experience Programme their weekly rate of payment will increase to €306. I have provided that these weekly rates of payment will increase by €5 from January 2022.
A person aged between 18 and 24 is exempted from the reduced rates if they are living independently of the family home and are in receipt of state housing supports such as rent supplement, housing assistance payment (HAP), Rent Accommodation Scheme (RAS), local authority or living permanently in accommodation provided by a local authority approved housing body.
Reduced rates also do not apply to Jobseekers under 25 years of age who have qualified children or those who were in care of the HSE immediately before they turned 18.
My Department engages in an inter-agency response to homelessness through its engagement with Tusla, the HSE and non-Government organisations to provide the necessary support to vulnerable people including young people who are experiencing homelessness or are in insecure situations.
The reduced Jobseeker's rates apply to those who are experiencing homelessness. However, young people in these circumstances engage with the Department's Community Welfare Service where they can access additional financial support under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme. These supports may include supplements or exceptional needs payments which can be provided to assist with ongoing or recurring costs that cannot be met from the person's own resources. A case-by case approach is taken given the complexity of the issues that may be involved.
I trust that this clarifies the position.