Dole rules tightened to save €82m
WORKERS who lose their jobs will only be entitled to claim Jobseeker's Benefit for a maximum of nine months, instead of 12 months at present.
Although core unemployment, pensions, lone parent and other social welfare payment rates have been preserved at current rates, the Government is aiming to save €82m a year by reducing automatic entitlements to the dole.
People who are still out of work after nine months will be able to apply for Jobseeker's Assistance but many do not qualify for this means-tested payment, if, for example, their spouse is earning over a certain amount.
People who have fewer than the 260 PRSI stamps that are needed to qualify for the full jobseeker's benefit will see their entitlement period reduced from nine months at present to just six.
The changes will be phased in during 2013, but will apply in full to all new claimants from April 2013.
The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed said the Budget changes would make the path to work, education and training more difficult for unemployed people.
"A person who has worked for 20 years or more and whose partner is working may find themselves cut adrift from any supports from the State after nine months," said spokesperson Brid O'Brien.
Irish Independent Supplement