Jobseeker's Transitional payment

Introduction

The Jobseeker’s Transitional payment is a special arrangement under the Jobseeker’s Allowance scheme that aims to support lone parents into the workforce while they have young children. The payment is known as JST.

This payment is available to people who are not cohabiting and whose youngest child is aged between 7 and 13 years inclusive.

If you stop getting JST because you no longer meet the qualifying conditions, you may requalify if your situation changes. For example, if for a period of time your earnings are too high to qualify, you may requalify for JST at a later stage if your earnings are reduced.

If you are no longer entitled to One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) and your youngest child is aged 14 years or over, you can apply for the normal Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Rules

The rules that apply to Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) and JST are similar. The maximum weekly rate of payment is the same. The main differences between JA and JST are:

  • You do not have to be available for and genuinely seeking full-time work. This is to allow you to meet your caring responsibilities when you have young children. There are childcare supports available if you do find work.
  • You can take part in a course of education and get JST (and, if eligible, a student maintenance grant). However, you should find out whether the Back to Education Allowance is a better option for you in our document on social welfare payments and the student grant.
  • You do not have to be fully unemployed for 4 out of 7 days. This means that you could work part-time for 5 days and still receive a payment (subject to the means test). This would allow you to work mornings only while your children are in school.
  • You cannot cohabit with another person while you are getting JST.
  • You must be the main carer for at least one child. This means that the child must live with, and spend most of their time with you. JST is not payable if parents have joint equal custody of a child. If parents have joint custody, JST is payable to the main carer.

While you are getting JST you must sign a quarterly declaration to confirm that you are still entitled to JST. You must always declare any change in your circumstances including a change in your living arrangement or means that might affect your entitlement to JST.

Conditions for getting JST

You must satisfy the Jobseeker's Allowance means test. Income from work is assessed differently for JST (see below).

To be eligible for JST you must be habitually resident in Ireland, you must not be cohabiting and you must be capable of work. When your youngest child reaches 14 years of age, the normal Jobseeker Allowance conditions will apply to you.

When you start getting a Jobseeker's Transitional payment you will be scheduled to attend a meeting with one of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection's Case Officers. The purpose of this meeting is to identify and access supports (such as education, training and employment schemes) that will prepare you for full-time employment. If you do not participate in this process, you may be paid a reduced rate of JST (a penalty rate) or you may be disqualified from getting your JST payment.

Work and JST

You can work and get JST. There is no limit on the number of days or hours you can work. The amount of payment you get depends on your weekly means.

Since March 2018, the first €130 of your gross weekly earnings is disregarded (or not taken into account). 50% of the balance is assessed as means.

If you are self-employed, this income disregard does not apply. Instead, your net profit (gross profit less expenses) is assessed as means.

Working Family Payment (formerly known as Family Income Supplement) is not payable with JST.

Example

Niamh is working and earns €350 per week and has 1 child.

The maximum JST payment possible is €198 personal rate plus an Increase for a Qualified Child of €31.80 = €229.80

Earnings of €350 – €130 disregard = €220

50% of €220 = €110 = Niamh’s assessable earnings

JST maximum payment of €229.80 - assessable earnings of €110 = €119.80

Niamh will be paid JST of €119.80

Income from maintenance

All income from maintenance is assessed as means. This includes maintenance for you and maintenance to you for any of your children. If you are getting maintenance from more than one person, all the payments are added together and the total is assessed as means. However, only half of your income from maintenance will be deducted from your JST. If you have housing costs, your rent or mortgage repayment up to a maximum of €95.23 per week can be offset against maintenance payments. Half the balance is then assessed as means. You must provide proof of rent or mortgage payments. You can get more information on how maintenance is assessed as means.

Carers

You cannot claim a half-rate Carer’s Allowance with JST. If you are parenting alone and qualify for a carer’s payment you continue to be eligible for a One-Parent Family Payment until your youngest child is 16. This means that you can claim OFP and a half-rate Carer’s Allowance together if you qualify for both payments.

Rates

From 21 March 2018
Maximum personal rate Increase for a qualified child
€198.00 €31.80

Extra benefits

If you are getting JST you may qualify for Fuel Allowance (whether you have been getting OFP previously or not). You can claim a Back To School Clothing and Footwear Allowance and Rent Supplement. You cannot claim Rent Supplement if you are getting a student maintenance grant or if you are in full-time education.

How to apply

You apply for the Jobseeker’s Transitional payment using the JST1 form. You can also get an application form from your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.

You can get help with filling in your application form at your Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Branch Office or nearest Citizens Information Centre.

If you think you have been wrongly refused Jobseeker's Transitional payment you can appeal the decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

Page edited: 20 August 2018