Know Your Rights: Part-time work and social welfare payments
I’m working part-time on a low wage. Do I qualify for any social welfare payments?
It depends on your personal circumstances. Many people work part time before taking up full-time employment. If you are working part time you can, in some cases, keep or apply for a partial social welfare payment, or you may qualify for additional supports.
If you work over 38 hours in a fortnight and you have children you may be able to claim Family Income Supplement (FIS). FIS is a weekly tax-free payment for people on low pay. You may be able to claim a jobseeker’s payment for the days you are not working. You can work part-time for up to 3 days a week and claim a reduced Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowancepayment. You may qualify for the Part-time Job Incentive Scheme if you were getting Jobseeker’s Allowance and find part-time work for less than 24 hours per week. However, one of the main conditions for getting a jobseeker’s payment is that you must be available for and actively seeking work. This means that you must continue to look for work on the days you are unemployed. You must also be unemployed for at least 4 days out of 7 consecutive days.
If you return to work after a period of unemployment, you may qualify for the Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) which aims to help families move from social welfare into employment. The BTWFD and FIS can be paid together and the BTWFD is not taken into account in the means test for FIS.