The Social Welfare Scheme for Professional Artists on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) allows professional artists who are getting JA to focus on their artistic work and to develop their portfolio for the first year that they are out of work.

Under the Scheme, professional artists getting Jobseeker’s Allowance can be exempt from labour market activation for the first year that they are out of work.

The scheme recognises the unique creative circumstances of dancers and choreographers applying for Jobseeker’s Allowance. Specifically the scheme is designed to support professional dance artists during times when their incomes are low and to provide support to develop income opportunities, focus on their artistic work and develop their portfolio..

In order to qualify for the scheme, professional artists must apply for and satisfy the qualifying conditions for Jobseeker’s Allowance including a means test. They must be unemployed, capable of, available for and actively seeking work. Applicants are also required to provide a certificate from their professional body as to their status as a professional artist. They must be registered as self-employed with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and at least 50% of their income should be derived from their art in the previous year. Participants on the scheme can continue on a voluntary basis to avail of the supports of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s Public Employment Service.

More information on the scheme is available here.

Dance Ireland is the designated certifying body for professional dance in Ireland.
Professional members, working as dancers and choreographers will be eligible to avail of this enhanced social welfare scheme.
Dance Ireland worked closely with officials on a certification process in order to enable our professional members’ avail of the scheme. 

In keeping with our desire to maintain interpersonal communications with members, and to ensure discretion and confidentiality, we will issue certification on a case-by-case basis. Our lead on this will be our Membership Engagement Officer Andrea Bolger. To contact Andrea directly, either phone: 01 855 8800 or email:

Other useful links here:

More information on Jobseeker’s Allowance and related benefits is available from the Citizens Information website

Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection

Office of the Revenue Commissioners

Creative Ireland