Frequently Asked Questions – Jobseekers

What is EmployAbility Midlands and how will it help me if I want a job?

EmployAbility Midlands is an employment initiative that helps integrate people with disabilities into paid employment in the open labour market. EmployAbility Service Midlands deliver the Supported Employment programme service in counties Laois, Offaly, Longford & Westmeath. When you access our service, you will be linked with a local Employment Officer who will work one-to-one with you in a supportive and confidential setting. Our service includes help in the following areas:

JOB MATCHING – Advice on suitable career options available to you, based on your skills and interests.

JOB SEEKING – Help identifying and securing suitable employment.

JOB COACHING –  Help you if you need on-the-job training . You may also need your workplace adapted or assistive technology to enable you to do the job. We can advise your employer of these supports and the grants available to provide them.

AFTERCARE – Our service is available to you for 18 months in total.

Who can avail of EmployAbility Midland’s Supported Employment service?
If you have a disability or a long term illness and wish to take up paid employment and need assistance to do so, EmployAbility Midlands can help you. We help people with all disabilities : physical, sensory/intellectual & mental health. We focus on your ABILITY, on what you CAN do and help you to find employment suitable to this.

Our service covers Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath. If you are outside these counties, please contact your local Department Of Social Protection Office office and they will direct you to your nearest EmployAbility Service

I am in receipt of a disability payment. Will I lose this if I start working?
If you are in receipt of a disability payment, it is possible to work and still retain all or part of your benefit. The situation depends on what payment you are on, how many hours you work, your work income and your own personal circumstances. Your Employment Officer will discuss your situation with you in a confidential setting. We offer independent advice and information on how your benefit may be affected if you start working.

What about my secondary benefits? Will I lose my medical card/free travel/rent allowance etc?
Retaining these benefits depends on the disability payment you receive, the hours you work, the amount you earn and other personal details. We will discuss your situation with you in a confidential setting. We offer independent advice and information on how these benefits may be affected if you start working.

I am not in receipt of a disability payment, can you still help me to get a job?
Yes. If you have a disability and need assistance to get a job, we can help you. If you are not in receipt of a disability payment you can still apply to our service. We would need a letter from your doctor outlining that you would need our support.

I have recently acquired a disability and cannot do the work I had been doing in the past. Can Supported Employment help me?
Yes. We can help you to assess your new circumstances in relation to your work options. We can advise you and your current employer about the grants available to retrain you to undertake alternative duties in the company or to help you continue to work at your existing duties using modified techniques. We can also explore new work options and help you rebuild your career.

Will I receive any extra payment when using EmployAbility Midland’s Supported Employment service?
No. EmployAbility Midlands is not a training programme and therefore there is no training allowance available. We work with you to help you secure and maintain paid employment.

Would I have to work full time?
No but you must be able to work at least 8 hours per week. People helped by EmployAbility Midlands work different hours, ranging from 8 hours per week to full-time. Each jobseeker’s personal circumstances are different, and we can discuss with you what working arrangement is best for you.

How will I get to and from work?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide transport for you to get you to and from work. However we can help you look at what options are available to you in this regard.

How should I disclose my disability to my employer?
The disclosure of information can be a sensitive issue for many people with disabilities. Your Employment Officer will discuss with you the best way to disclose information about your disability, when applying for jobs. With your consent, we can discuss with prospective employers work options based on your abilities, and identify workable solutions to any challenges that may present.

What if I get sick?
Employers know that most employees (with or without a disability) at some point cannot attend work due to illness. It is important when you are sick and cannot attend to follow your employer’s protocol for this.

    • Ring your employer as soon as possible if you cannot attend work
    • Contact your Employment Officer
    • Provide a doctor’s certificate when required, usually if off work for 3 days
    • Notify your employer well in advance of any hospital appointments
    • If you are regularly missing work days due to illness, your Employment Officer may step in and reassess the situation with you and your employer with regard to different hours, further supports or putting the employment on hold until you become well again.

What can I expect to get paid?
You can expect to get the same pay, rights and entitlements as other employees. Your Employment Officer can help you agree the terms and conditions of employment with your employer if you wish.

Is there a charge to use EmployAbility Midland’s Service?
No. Our service is free of charge to jobseekers and to employers.

How can I apply?
You can contact your local office directly:

Tullamore 086 3873047

Laois 086 3873056

Mullingar 086 8160356

Athlone 086 3842496/086 8337946

Longford 086 3872855

Alternatively, Contact us by email form or on 05793 23901