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Jobseeker social welfare benefits

There are a range of benefits available to support people who are unemployed and seeking work.  For up to date information please see the following webpages:



Cross-border issues

With regards to claiming jobseeker benefits there are special rules for frontier / cross border workers:

  • Frontier workers who are wholly/fully unemployed, e.g. made completely redundant, receive benefits in the state in which they live.
  • Frontier workers who are partially or intermittently out of work e.g. reduced working hours, receive contribution-based unemployment benefits in the state where they were last employed.
  • In the absence of any contractual link with the employer they are treated as fully unemployed.
  • Where there is no resumption date they are treated as fully unemployed

Therefore if a frontier worker resident in the South loses his/ her job in the North, he/she can rely on their National Insurance Contributions paid in the North to qualify for Jobseekers Benefit in the South.  He/she must satisfy the general contribution conditions for Jobseekers Benefit.  If there is a partial loss of employment in the North, the NI Social Security Agency  would be obliged to consider entitlement to contribution based Jobseekers Allowance

People living in the South and claiming Jobseekers Benefit CAN take up part-time work in the North and still receive reduced Jobseekers Benefit from the South.

Q.   Can a person living in the South and claiming Jobseekers benefit take up part-time work in Northern Ireland and continue to claim Jobseekers benefit in the South?

A.    YES.  But it is essential to get confirmation from your local welfare office in advance of taking the job in Northern Ireland.  Please refer to the following: EU Recommendation No U1 of 12 June 2009 – “Where persons residing in the territory of a Member State are eligible, under the legislation applicable to them, to receive unemployment benefits, they should be allowed to pursue a part-time professional or trade activity in the territory of another Member State, while retaining entitlement to unemployment benefits provided by the State in which they reside.”

If issues arise about payment of National Insurance in the North it can be sorted out by the Special Collections Section which is based in Waterford.   The office will forward a Form A1 on which you should cite the above EU recommendation:  The Special Collections Section will then consult with the Northern Authorities and issue a certificate to the effect that the person remains subject to Southern legislation.

Contact: Special Collections Section, Department of Social Protection
Locall 1890 690 690 (from the Republic of Ireland only) or + 353 1 4715898
Email: Special Collections Enquiry Form

Updated: September 2017

This webpage is for general information purposes only and while we endeavour to keep it up-to-date, errors may occur.  It is very important that you check with the relevant body to ensure the information is current and is applicable to your situation: – North /  South

If you would like to suggest amendments or highlight new information that could be useful to others please don’t hesitate to get in touch.