The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) is one of the programs of the national government implemented under the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. This scheme is intended to improve the long-term unemployment situation of most individuals so they may be able to improve themselves thru the self-employment opportunities offered by this program.
This program allows those who avail of this to retain a reduced portion of their social welfare payment. In addition to that, they may also enjoy other advantages such as secondary benefits- that is in some instances, for a period of over two years.
Basically, what this means is that you are able to start your business; while at the same time, you are still entitled to receive your social welfare benefits for up to a period of 2 years. As to the social welfare benefits, you can receive them 100% in the first year. In the succeeding year, you are entitled to receive 75% of the said benefits.
If you’re asking the rationale for this program, it simply is to support those who have been unemployed for a long period of time so they may get the opportunity to be self-sufficient again thru self-employment. In the big picture, it will also help the entire economy as well with the increase of the employment rate.
How to avail of the BTWEA program?
In order to avail of this program, it is important that your proposed business must be approved in advance by the DEASP Case Officer and the LDC or the Local Development Company.
The following will be able to receive social welfare based on the following schemes for a period of 234 days or a total of 9 months
- Jobseeker’s Benefit
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Jobseeker’s Transitional payment (JST)
- One-Parent Family Payment (OFP)
- Blind Pension
- Disability Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance (full rate) – having stopped caring duties
- Deserted Wife’s Benefit/Allowance
- Farm Assist – the new business cannot be in relation to the farm holding or the continuation of an existing business
- Invalidity Pension
- Incapacity Supplement
- Widow’s/Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension
- Qualifying from Illness Benefit: 3 out of last 5 years in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment
- Combination of OFP/JST/JA continuously for 9 months
- Qualified Adult of someone getting BTWEA already
- Qualified Candidates
What are the requisites to avail of the BTWEA program:
Once you have been approved of the BTWEA program, it is important to know that it is only the time where you can avail yourself of the ESG or the Enterprise Support Grant.
After which, it is vital that you also submit your back to work enterprise allowance business plan. this business plan must be included together with your application for this scheme. The reason for financial support for your business must also be included therein.
The ESG can pay a total of €2,500 in any 24-month period. You must be able to make a matching contribution of at least 10% to access grant support. You need to provide documentary evidence of the costs (quotations from at least 2 suppliers or, if a single supplier, the reasons for choosing a single supplier).