Case Study 1: How income from work affects Jobseeker's Allowance
This case study shows the effect of work on Jobseeker's Allowance (2020 rates)
John is living with his partner Mary and their two children. He recently lost his job as a barman but has managed to get some part-time work in a local restaurant. He is working two days a week. His assessable earnings for social welfare purposes are €110 per week. (Assessable earnings are gross earnings less deductions for PRSI, superannuation and union dues.) His wife cares for her mother, who lives nearby, and is getting full-rate Carer's Allowance. She is also getting Child Benefit for each of their two children aged under 12.
John wants to go back to bar work and has applied to a number of local pubs and hotels. He heard that he can get Jobseeker's Allowance (JA) for the days the he is not working and wants to know how much JA he is entitled to.
Other than Mary's social welfare payments and John's part-time work they have no other income. However, they have savings of €17,500.
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.
Jobseeker's Allowance rate (note 1) €239
Less average weekly means (note 2) €21
Total Jobseeker's Allowance weekly rate €218
Calculate the maximum JA payment John would be entitled to if he didn’t have any means. John’s maximum payment is €239.
This is made up of his personal payment of €203 and €18 for each of his two children (John gets a half-rate Increase for a Child Dependant).
His wife also gets a half-rate increase for child dependants with her Carer's Allowance payment. He will not get an Increase for a Qualified Adult because his wife Mary is getting her own social welfare payment, full-rate Carer’s Allowance. (However, John could claim an Increase for a Qualified Adult if Mary agrees to getting half-rate Carer's Allowance. The family can check to see if this would be of greater benefit to them.)
John's average assessable weekly earnings are €110.
First you must find out if John's weekly means disqualify him from getting JA. €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.
€110 – €40 (2 days worked) = €70 x 60% = €42
John's weekly means from employment of €42 is less than the maximum amount he would be entitled to for his circumstances (€239).
Now you 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 earning'
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. John has 4 consecutive days of unemployment. He is employed for 2 days.
John's average assessable daily earnings are (€110 ÷ 2 days work) = €55.
Less disregard for day worked €55 - €20 = €35
60 % of his assessable daily earnings of €35 = €21
Weekly means is €21 x 2 (number of days worked) = €42
John's weekly means from employment is €42
More information is available 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.
His savings are not taken into account because they are below the €20,000 threshold.
More information is available in our document Capital and social welfare payments.
His wife's Carer's Allowance and Child Benefit are not taken into account in the assessment of means. As she is getting her own social welfare personal payment (Carer's Allowance) he cannot claim a qualified adult increase for her.
More information is available in our document Cash income and social welfare payments.
His means of €42 is halved because his wife is getting a social welfare payment.
More information is available in our document about the means test
Therefore, his total means is assessed as €21.