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Case Studies » Unemployment » Jobseeker's Allowance - from 2016 Annual Report (ref: 2016/25)

2016/25 – Jobseeker’s Allowance

Summary decision

Question at issue: Eligibility (means)

Background: The appellant was in his early 20s and living at home when he made a claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance. As he had not reached the prescribed age of 25 years, his means were assessed with reference to the ‘benefit and privilege’ of living with his parents. The rules which govern the calculation of means are outlined in Schedule 3 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005. Rule 1(10) provides that:

in the case of a person entitled to or in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance and who has not attained the age that may be prescribed [25 years], the yearly value of any benefit or privilege enjoyed by that person by virtue of residing with a parent or step-parent, and the Minister may prescribe by regulations the manner in which the value of the benefit and privilege may be calculated.

The manner in which the value of ‘benefit and privilege’ is to be calculated has not been prescribed in Regulations but the Department of Social Protection has issued guidelines for the information of Deciding Officers. These indicate that deductions from parental income are made for income tax, Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI), Universal Social Charge (USC), pension levies, income levies, superannuation, private health insurance contributions, union fees and rent/mortgage payments. In addition, a disregard of €600 per week applies in relation to the parents’ own needs and one of €30 per week in respect of any other dependent child. The balance of parental income is then assessed at 34%.

Consideration: The Appeals Officer calculated the means attributable to the appellant based on the details of parental income he had provided, in line with the formula outlined above. This indicated net parental income of €1,005.55, less a disregard of €600 for the parents and €30 in respect of one dependent child. The balance, €375.55, was assessed at 34% to give a figure of €127.70. He determined that the appellant’s means, at €127.70 per week, were in excess of the maximum rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance (€100.00) which may be payable to a young person living with their parents.

Outcome: Appeal disallowed