To qualify for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance you must, usually, be on the dole for at least a year. You get your full dole payment (currently up to €188 a week) for the first year of claiming the allowance, and 75% of the dole (currently up to €141 a week ) in the second year. You may be able to set up your own business and still get paid.
If you're studying or training full-time on a FAS or Failte Ireland course and you received the dole before starting those courses, you may also qualify for this allowance.
To apply, you must complete the BTW2 form (available from the Department of Social Protection) and send it to your local social welfare office, or your local partnership company, if you live in a partnership area. It is important to remember you won't get this allowance if you set your business up before getting the approval of the Department of Social Protection, or your local partnership company.
Under the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, you may get up to half of the cost (up to a maximum of €1,269.74) of your public liability insurance bill covered, as well as support for other start-up costs such as driving lessons, business mentoring, fax machines and computers.. The scheme also offers grants for training to keep your own accounts. Irish Independent 06/04/11