Unemployment Benefits Tied to Pay for First 9 Months

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In a significant welfare system overhaul, Minister Heather Humphreys announces a revamped unemployment benefit plan that ties payments to workers’ previous earnings for the first nine months after job loss. Here’s the breakdown of the new scheme set to roll out next year: Unemployment Benefits Tied to Pay for First 9 Months

Graduated Payment System:

  • Initially, unemployed workers will receive 60% of their previous earnings or up to €450 per week for the first three months.
  • Subsequently, the payment reduces to 55% of earnings (up to €375 per week) for the next three months.
  • In the final three months, the benefit decreases to 50% of earnings, with a cap of €300 per week.

Encouraging Return to Work: The revised plan aims not only to provide financial support but also to encourage a return to work. After the nine-month period, individuals will transition to the regular Jobseeker’s Allowance of €220 per week, with an upcoming increase of €12 in January.

Minister’s Commitment: Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys expressed her commitment to this initiative, emphasizing its fairness and necessity. She anticipates the scheme will be operational by late next year.

Additional Proposal for Long-Term Family Carers: In another positive development, Minister Humphreys is presenting a proposal to grant full state pensions to thousands of long-term family carers. Under this proposal, individuals aged over 66 who have cared for a loved one for more than 20 years will be entitled to €277.30 a week starting in January.

Addressing Pension Disparities: This move is a crucial step in rectifying disparities in the pension system. Until now, long-term carers faced challenges in qualifying for state pensions due to insufficient PRSI contributions and means-testing, leaving many without any pension despite their valuable contributions as caregivers.

Pensions Commission Recommendation: The Pensions Commission recommended that the State contribute to long-term carers’ pensions, allowing them to receive pensions upon retirement. An estimated 1,000 long-term carers annually will become eligible for a state pension under this new scheme.

In summary, these welfare system changes represent a more compassionate and inclusive approach, ensuring that those facing unemployment and long-term family carers are provided with fair and adequate support.

Unemployment Benefits Tied to Pay for First 9 Months

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