Number of recipients of Pandemic Unemployment Payment jumps by nearly 58,000 since Christmas 4 months ago

Number of recipients of Pandemic Unemployment Payment jumps by nearly 58,000 since Christmas

23,000 workers in Ireland laid off in the week before Christmas received their first payment over the festive period.

The number of recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in Ireland has increased by just under 58,000 since the last payment before Christmas.

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335,599 people have been issued with the PUP by the Department of Social Protection this week, compared to 277,671 people who were in receipt of the payment on Tuesday, 22 December.

The total value of payments made to recipients this week is €99.06 million; all payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their post office today (5 January).

The PUP is worth up to €350 per person per week depending on their average weekly earnings and eligible workers can apply via mywelfare.ie.

According to Department of Social Protection figures, the Accommodation and Food Service sector accounts for the greatest number of PUP recipients (97,798), followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade (46,853) and other sectors, such as hairdressing and beauty salons (30,221).

The 335,599 recipients of the PUP is in addition to 194,058 people reported as being on the Live Register as of the end of November.

The Department also revealed that it processed approximately 23,000 PUP applications from workers who were laid off in the week before Christmas (18-24 December). Eligible applicants received their first payment over the Christmas period.

Any eligible workers who were made unemployed between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve will receive their payment today (5 January).

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Commenting on the increase in the number of PUP recipients, Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys said: “It has been a really difficult Christmas period for people who lost their employment due to the move to Level 5 restrictions.

“As anticipated, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment since 22 December.”

“The Pandemic Unemployment Payment has proven to be an important financial lifeline for hundreds of thousands of workers since its introduction in March,” Humphreys added.

“To date, over €5 billion has been paid out in order to support workers and their families throughout this pandemic.

“As we move into January and with a difficult period ahead, I would plead with everyone to make every effort possible to suppress the virus.

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“By staying home as much as possible, adhering to social distancing, washing our hands and limiting our contacts, we are lessening the spread of the virus and easing the pressure on our frontline workers.

“It is within our gift to get the Covid figures down. We have done it before and I know we have it in us to do it again.”