Back to Work Enterprise Allowance in Ireland; Explained

What do you know about Work Enterprise Allowance? Are you someone who is looking to be self-employed? Then you should definitely know about Work Enterprise Allowance in Ireland.

This article will walk you through the details of Work Enterprise Allowance, its procedures, eligibility criteria, rate of payment, etc.

What is the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance?

The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or BWEA is a type of allowance that allows people to use their social welfare payments to become self-employed in Ireland. Being a part of this BWEA, you can keep you’re a certain percentage of your social welfare payments for a period of up to 24 months.

What are the procedures to apply for Back to Work Enterprise Allowance?

Step 1: A case officer will be in charge of initial assessments. Every new applicant has to attend this where the case officer will assess your suitability for the scheme in line with your progression plan. This is the first step.
Step 2: After the successful completion of step 1, the applicant will be referred to a Local Development Company. The LDC will assist you in discussing your options and exploring the practicality of your business details.
Step 3: After the discussion stages, the LDC will help you to prepare your business plan in detail. Once the plan is completed, the LDC will revert back to you to the case officer.
Step 4: The case officer will now review the business plan in detail, ask questions, and clarify things. He will then recommend your proposal to the Deciding Officer.
Step 5: The Deciding Officer will take the final call. Once you are qualified for Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, your new business in Ireland will get support from the case officer and mentoring from the LDC over the two years of the scheme.

What are the eligibility criteria for Back to Work Enterprise Allowance?

You can qualify for this allowance provided:

  • If you are setting up self-employment in a new business in Ireland where you have got approval in writing from Case Officer and a Local Development Company
  • Receiving Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance continuously for a period of at least 9 months (234 days). If you have been getting either of these payments continuously for a year (312 days) immediately before Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, you can then have a maximum of 30 days off the Live Register during this time
  • Qualifying from Illness Benefit three out of the last five years in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment
  • You may also be considered for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance if you are a qualified adult or an individual who currently is getting the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance
  • You can become eligible if the person who is getting the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance stops their self-employment before exhausting their entitlement due to certain circumstances.

What are the rates of pay?

You can keep the following percentages of your social welfare payment when you qualify for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, including increases for a qualified adults, and qualified children for a maximum of 2 years.

  • 100% for the 1st year
  • 75% for the 2nd year

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