Over 500,000 people set to receive Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment this week 1 month ago

Over 500,000 people set to receive Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment this week

The number of recipients has increased by 224,000 in the space of a week.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has announced that it issued the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment to 507,000 people last Friday (3 April), a payment that will be available to recipients in their bank accounts or at their local post office tomorrow (7 April).

The number of recipients of the payment has increased by 224,000 from the 283,000 people who were issued the payment on the last Friday in March (27 March).

The Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment payments are in addition to the 207,000 people in Ireland that were registered on the Live Register on 3 April.

Approximately 39,000 employers in Ireland, meanwhile, have now registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy scheme, which has been made available to employers who keep employees on the payroll throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 26 March, the scheme will refund employers to a maximum of €410 per week per each qualifying employee, with employers obliged to pay no more than the normal weekly net pay of the employee.

More details on the subsidy scheme are available here.

Commenting on Monday, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty said: “The scale of demand for the Covid-19 payment demonstrates the once-in-a-century nature of the emergency facing the country as we face this unique emergency.

“The focus of my Department is to ensure that we get assistance to all who need it as effectively and quickly as possible and I would like to acknowledge the innovation, commitment and energy of all my staff who have moved mountains to meet this historic challenge.

“For the duration of this emergency, we will publish weekly updates on activity regarding our Covid-19 response. This is a temporary health emergency and the Government is determined that it won’t be a permanent economic one.

“As much as we are focussed on helping people today, my Department will be also be playing its part to help people get back into work as soon as this emergency passes.”

Since the launch of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment on 16 March, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has processed applications from 583,000 people for the payment or for a jobseeker’s payment (excluding duplicate claims).

The Department has issued payments to 90% of people who have made claims to date.

19,000 people have asked to close their Pandemic Unemployment Payment, while approximately 46,000 payments were withheld for various reasons, including:

  • People were already in receipt of a jobseeker payment
  • They were still in employment
  • They had not been in employment prior to claiming the Covid-19 payment
  • A Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy, administered by the Revenue Commissioners, was being paid in their name
  • They were not resident in Ireland
  • They submitted incorrect details, including invalid PPSNs and IBANs.

The Department says it is continuing to resolve any issues – such as invalid IBANS or PPSNs – with legitimate applications and is contacting the people concerned directly over the next few days.

The Department also sought to remind people to take care with critical information (dates of birth, PPSNs, IBANs) when submitting applications and said that a common mistake was being made by Bank of Ireland customers, who are using BO1 instead of BOI when filling out their IBAN details. Such a mistake will cause their applications to be rejected when processed.

Applications and information on the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment (which has received 23,800 applications to date) can be accessed online at MyWelfare.ie.

In the interests of public health advice and the restrictions on movements, applicants are urged, if at all possible, not to attend their local Intreo Centre as opening hours have been restricted.