Job Seekers Allowance/ Supplementary Welfare Allowance

The Social Welfare and Pensions Act, 2009, outlines entitlements for young people leaving care

Section 6 of the Social Welfare Act, 2009, provides provisions for Job Seekers allowance and Section 7 of the Social Welfare Act, 2009, deals with Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

The Act maintains the entitlement for young adults leaving care to the full Job Seekers’ Allowance or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.  The Act states that ‘Certain children who were in the care of the Child and Family Agency during the 12 months before reaching 18 are assessed using the JA rate for people aged 26 or over’. This exception only applies between the ages of 18 and 24. From the age of 25, the age-related rate applies.

Please note that presently in 2015 this entitles a care leaver to full entitlements of €188 per week for Job Seekers Allowance and €186 a week through Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

All Care Leavers require a letter from their Aftercare Worker/ Social Worker confirming same.

The Department of Social Protection: The DSP operational guidelines for processing claims, states:

‘Persons leaving HSE (TUSLA) care – For persons leaving HSE Care at aged 18 (e.g. those in foster homes or HSE care facilities or who were under HSE care at any time during the last 12 months before they reached age 18), the reduced rate does not apply if the customer is between 18 and 24 years’.

‘Before the 15th January 2014, under legislation an ex-HSE customer who made a claim for Jobseekers Allowance before the 15th January 2014 will receive the personal rate of € 188 until he/she reaches 22 years, on reaching 22 years a personal rate of €144 will apply to the age of 26′.

‘A customer who made a claim after 15th January 2014 will receive a personal rate of €188 until he/she reaches 25 years, on reaching 25 years a personal rate of €144 will apply’.

‘Ex HSE customers & Budget 2014 – From 15th January 2014 new Ex HSE customers who claim JA will not be subject to a reduced JA rate if they are between 18 and 24 years. However, when they reach 25 year they are subject to the reduced rate of €144′.

‘An existing ex- HSE customer on 15 January 2014 (aged 25 years) who was in receipt of €188 (prior to Budget 2014) remains on that rate of jobseeker’s allowance’.

Minister Press Release letter 2009