Case study 2: How income from employment affects your Jobseeker's Allowance

This case study shows the affect of work on Jobseeker's Allowance in 2017

Case study

Frank is living with his partner Joanne and their two children. He recently lost his job and has applied for Jobseeker's Allowance. He has some temporary work driving a minibus for a local disability service every Saturday and Sunday. His assessable average weekly earnings are €140.

Joanne is working part-time for 3 days a week and earns €85 per week. She is also getting Child Benefit for the two children.

They recently sold their old family home and bought a newer house. They made a profit of €15,000 on the sale of their house and have an additional €5,000 savings.

Step 1

First calculate Frank and Joanne's means.

Frank's assessable income from employment €60

(See note 1)

Joanne's assessable income from employment €15
(See note 2)

Means assessed from savings 0
(See note 3)

Total means €75

Step 2

Calculate Frank's maximum rate of Jobseeker's Allowance. This includes the maximum personal rate and any increase for a qualified adult

Jobseeker's Allowance rate (from March 2017) €193

Add increase for a qualified adult €128.10

Add increase for child dependents €59.60

Total €380.70

Step 3

Maximum rate of Jobseeker's Allowance less assessable means. In this case,

Maximum rate of Jobseeker's Allowance €380.70

Less assessable means €75

Total €305.70
(JA personal rate plus increase for a qualified adult)

Total Jobseeker's Allowance rate payable to Frank €305.70

Note 1

Firstly, assess Frank's income from work using the following formula:

€20 per day from casual work (up to a maximum of €60) will be deducted from his average assessable weekly earnings and then 60% of the balance will be assessed as his weekly means.

€140 - €40 (2 days work) = €100 x 60% = €60

The following allowances are always deducted from your gross earnings to get your assessable earnings:

  • PRSI contributions
  • Union dues
  • Superannuation
  • PRSA (Personal Retirement Savings Account
  • AVCs (Additional Voluntary Contributions)

Frank's weekly means from employment of €60 is less than the maximum amount he would be entitled to for his circumstances (€380.70). Because we now know he is entitled to a certain amount of Jobseeker's Allowance the next step is to calculate the actual amount of Jobseeker's Allowance he is entitled to. To do this you must calculate his 'assessable daily earnings'.

He is entitled to JA only for periods of unemployment. The minimum period a person must be unemployed in order to receive JA is 4 days in a period of 7 consecutive days. Frank has 5 consecutive days of unemployment. He is employed for 2 days out of 7. (Sunday is counted as a day of work.)

Frank's average assessable daily earnings are €140

Less disregard for days worked €140 - €40 = €100 (No disregard for Sunday)

60 % of his assessable daily earnings of €100= €60

Frank's assessable income from employment is €60

Note 2

Joanne's income from employment is €85.

€20 per day from casual work (up to a maximum of €60) will be deducted from her average assessable weekly earnings and then 60% of the balance will be assessed as her weekly means.

€85 - €60 (3 days worked) = €25 x 60% = €15

Child Benefit is not taken into account in the assessment of means.

More information can be found in our document How Jobseeker's Allowance is affected by income from employment and in our Worksheet on Jobseeker's Allowance and income from work.

Note 3

Joanne and Frank have combined savings of €20,000. This is below the €20,000 threshold and is not taken into account as means.

Page edited: 12 April 2017