Start your own Business Relief
Who qualifies for this relief?
You may qualify for this relief if you have been unemployed for 12 months or more. During those 12 months, you must have received one of the following as set out on the Department of Social Protection (DSP) website:
- Crediting PRSI Contributions
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Jobseeker's Benefit
- One Parent Family Payment
- Partial Capacity Payment.
Breaks in Jobseeker's Benefit or Allowance
You may have a break in your claim for Jobseeker's Benefit or Allowance. In certain circumstances you may still qualify for Start Your Own Business Relief.
Taking up employment that did not work out
You might stop claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or benefit in order to start work. If this work does not work out, you might start claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or Benefit again within 12 months. Your current period of unemployment will be linked to your earlier period of unemployment when determining long-term unemployment.
You can only link two periods of unemployment if they are separated by less than 12 months.
- Example 1
Joan was in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance for ten months. She found a job but it did not work out and after two months we was back in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance. She has now been receiving Jobseeker's Allowance for the second time for four months. She is planning on setting up a new business. Can she avail of this relief?
Yes she can. Joan's ten-month period of unemployment is linked to her four-month period, giving her a total period of unemployment of 14 months. Note that this link only exists where the two periods of unemployment are separated by less than 12 months.
Attending training courses or schemes
Any time that you spent on certain training courses and schemes will be treated as part of your period of unemployment.
You might stop claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or Benefit for a period to take part in a training course. If you receive an allowance for the course, it is treated as if it were Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit.
Qualifying training courses and schemes include Further Education and Training courses, Community Employment schemes, Job Initiative and Back to Education schemes.
- Example 2
John was in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance for six months. He then went on a Back to Education scheme for one month. After this scheme, he went back on Jobseeker's Allowance for five months. When calculating this relief, John has been unemployed for 12 months (six months plus one month plus five months) and has been in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance for that period.
You can work for up to three days per week while still retaining your Jobseeker's Allowance or Benefit. If this is the case, you will be treated as unemployed and will be allowed claim this relief if you start a new business.
- Example 3
For the last two years, Billy was working three days a week and in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance for the other four days a week. He is planning on setting up a new business. Can he avail of this relief?
Yes he can. Social Welfare view Billy as having been unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance for 312 days (three days a week for 104 weeks), which is equivalent to 12 months unemployment.
If you are not sure whether or not you qualify as long term unemployed, please contact your Social Welfare office.
Next: Are there any restrictions for your business?