5.1.4 Social security frameworks
There are no specific social security frameworks for artists in Ireland outside of the general social security regime. Artists registered as self-employed can apply for Jobseekers' Allowance (rate in 2011: EUR 188.00 per week for a single person) if their income falls below the current level of the social welfare benefit as determined by a means test, and as long as they are available for and actively seeking work. This poses difficulties for artists who may be urged to take up non-artistic work. In 2010 the Arts Council, with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, published The Living and Working Conditions of Artists in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Of the Republic of Ireland artists who received unemployment payments in the three years prior to the study, two in five said they experienced difficulties in receiving payments because of their status as an artist. The publication by the Arts Council, in 2006, of a report on The Socio-Economic Conditions of Theatre Practitioners in Ireland provides some data to support better recognition of interpretative artists in the Social Welfare system. This study found that 50% of those working in the theatre earn less than EUR 7 200 per annum, have to manage on multiple jobs to survive and average just 20 weeks work per year in their specialist area. The full text is available for download from: http://www.artscouncil.ie/library/downloads/theatre_socio_study.pdf.
See also comparative information provided in the Compendium "Themes!" section under "Status of Artists".