What is the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance?
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance is a scheme designed to encourage individuals receiving specific social welfare payments to become self-employed. Participants can retain a portion of their social welfare payment for up to 2 years.
Once accepted onto the scheme, participants can avail of support and mentoring from an Employment Personal Adviser and a Local Development Company (LDC) who will assist you in discussing your options and explore the viability of your business idea for the duration of the scheme.
How to Qualify for Back to Work Enterprise Allowance:
You can qualify for Back to Work Enterprise Allowance if you are:
Additionally, you may be considered for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance if you are a qualified adult of a person already receiving Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or if you have been recently released from prison.
Time spent in prison can count towards the qualifying period for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance if you establish an entitlement to a relevant social welfare payment before becoming self-employed.
Rates of payment:
If you qualify for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance you can retain the following portion of your social welfare payment, including increases for a qualified adult and children, for a maximum of 2 years:
Change of circumstances:
If your circumstances change, your rate of payment may increase or decrease. If your qualified adult finds employment or claims another social welfare payment in their own right, this could affect your Back to Work Enterprise Allowance.
How to Apply:
To apply for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, you need to fill out the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTW2) application form and return it to the Employment Personal Adviser at your local Intreo Centre.
Your business proposal will be reviewed and potentially discussed with you. You might then be referred to your Local Development Company. Important to note, you should not start your self-employment until you've received written approval from the department.
Once approved, you must register as self-employed with the Revenue Commissioners.
Reviewing a Decision:
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance operates under an administrative scheme, meaning decisions can't be appealed to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.
However, if you believe your application has been wrongly refused, you can request a review from the department.