Thursday, 19 May 2022
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Payments
305. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if Ukrainian persons who have moved to Ireland because of the war there and who are applying for the jobseeker’s allowance can retain part of the allowance if they work three days; the method by which their means will be assessed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25540/22]
In accordance with the Temporary Protection Directive implemented in March, people fleeing the war in Ukraine have been granted the status to avail of the supports and services, including income supports and employment services, provided by my Department.
To allow payments to be made as quickly as possible all applications for income support were initially processed under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme. My Department is now in the position to ensure that people are placed on the correct primary payment as early as possible. Consequently, applications are now being processed under other income supports also, including Jobseeker's Allowance.
Jobseeker's Allowance is a means-tested social assistance payment made to people who are unemployed and seeking full-time work. In order to qualify for this payment a person must be fully unemployed for at least 4 days in any period of 7 consecutivedays.
A person can therefore take up employment for 3 days and may still qualify for the support. Earnings from employment are assessed as part of the means assessment. Where a claimant or their spouse or partner has earnings from insurable employment and they are working 3 days per week, earnings less PRSI deductions, superannuation, the pension levy and trade union subscriptions are assessed as means. For each person there is a disregard of €60 per week or up to €20 for each day of unemployment and the balance is then assessed at 60%.
Where a person starts work or intends to start work they must let my Department know as soon as possible as it may affect their social welfare payment. To do this they need to go to their local Intreo Office or one of the dedicated Ukraine Support Centres in Dublin, Limerick or Cork.
I trust that this information clarifies the matter for the Deputy.