Know your rights with Citizens information: Are artists entitled to Jobseeker's allowance?

Longford Leader Reporter

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Longford Leader Reporter

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Question
I heard that there is a new social welfare scheme for artists? Can you tell me more about it?

Answer
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has announced that a new social welfare scheme for professional artists is now open for applications. The scheme enables professional artists who are getting Jobseeker’s Allowance to focus on their artistic work and to develop their portfolio for the first year that they are out of work. They will be exempt from participating in the normal labour market activation activities for this year.

To qualify for the scheme, you must satisfy the conditions for Jobseeker’s Allowance – these include the habitual residence condition and a means test. You must also be unemployed, capable of, available for and actively seeking work. You will be asked to provide a declaration from your professional body confirming your status as a professional artist. You can find a full list of professional art forms covered by the scheme and their certifying organisations on welfare.ie. Art forms covered under the scheme include visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film and circus.

Also read: Longford Leader's 'Know Your Rights'

You need to be registered as self-employed and at least 50% of your income in the previous year must come from your art form. When you are being assessed for the scheme, you will be means tested as a self-employed person. Certain expenses related to your profession as an artist are allowable. The rate of payment is the same as for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

If you think you might qualify for the scheme you should contact your local Intreo or Social Welfare Office

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below. 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Longford Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761075890. Level 1, Longford Shopping Centre, Longford. Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.