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Back To Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA):
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people getting certain social welfare payments to become self-employed. If you take part in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme you can keep a percentage of your social welfare payment for up to 2 years.
A new Back to Work Scheme called the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance started in May 2009. There is no qualifying period for the Short-Term Enterprise Allowance. You can get immediate access to the allowance if you meet the qualifying conditions.
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance is payable to people aged under 66.
You can qualify for a Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) if you are:
- Setting up as self-employed in a business that has been approved in advance in writing by a DSP case officer
- Getting Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit (with an underlying entitlement to Jobseeker's Allowance)* for at least 9 months or one of the qualifying payments listed below for at least 12 months
- Jobseeker's Transitional payment
- One-Parent Family Payment
- Blind Pension
- Disability Allowance
- Carer's Allowance (having stopped caring duties)
- Farm Assist
- Invalidity Pension
- Incapacity Supplement
- Widow's/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension
- Illness Benefit for 3 or more years
*Having an underlying entitlement to Jobseeker's Allowance means that you would pass the means test and other criteria. Signing on for unemployment credits following your Jobseeker's Benefit does not count towards the qualifying period.
If you qualify for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance you can keep the following portion of your social welfare payment, including increases for qualified adult and qualified children for a maximum of 2 years:
- 100% for the 1st year
- 75% for the 2nd year
Short-Term Enterprise Allowance is paid instead of your Jobseeker’s Benefit for a maximum of 9 months. It ends when your entitlement to Jobseeker’s Benefit ends (that is at either 9 or 6 months).
For Assistance with Business Planning and the application process please Contact:
Ballina Social Welfare Area: Niamh Charlton on 087- 6662340 firstname.lastname@example.org
Swinford or Westport Social Welfare area: Dolores McNicholas on 087-7704251 email@example.com
Erris and Achill Social Welfare area: Rina Garrett on 087-1840214 or firstname.lastname@example.org