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Payments for Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Enhanced Illness Benefit

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection issued payments valued at €180.5m to 515,700 people in respect of their application for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). This is a reduction of 27,400 on the number of people paid at the same point last week. Amongst the recipients are 22,200 who have now informed the Department that they are returning to work and 16,200 of these will be receiving their last payment this week.


As well as those on the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, there are now over 59,000 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) with at least one subsidy being paid in respect of over 520,900 people under that scheme.


The above payments are in addition to the 225,600 people who were reported on the Live Register as of the end of May. 


Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty today said: “Today’s Pandemic Unemployment Payment numbers reflect a drop of almost 90,000 people receiving support - or 15% - since the peak in recipients in May. As we enter a new phase of our reopening of Irish society today, we can expect the numbers returning to work to continue to climb.


“As the country marks a further step backs towards normality, or at least towards a ‘new normal’, I would stress the vital role Pandemic Unemployment Payment has played in contributing to assisting the strong public support for necessary public health measures which has allowed us to move to phase two.


“Not everybody will return to work today or tomorrow and my department will continue to assist those who need income replacement supports. As I announced last week, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will continue until August 2020 and I have tasked my officials to start working on options for the scheme’s future beyond that - taking into account progress in the re-opening of society and the developing health situation.”

All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office tomorrow, Tuesday 9th June.

People returning to work

Last week, some 28,000 people closed their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment of which 22,200 reported that they were returning to work. Of those 22,200 returning to work, approx. 16,200 are receiving their last unemployment payment this week and are included in the 515,700 people reported above. As the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a weekly payment paid in arrears, there can be a one week lag in how closures, due to people returning to work, are reflected in the payment data. The 16,200 individuals who closed their claim as they return to work are eligible for a final payment, as they were unemployed in the week for which this payment is due. 

The main sectors in which people are returning to work this week, continue to be Construction with 6,500 workers back in work, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair of Motor vehicles and motorcycles, with 3,700 having returned to work, while 1,900 have returned to their jobs in the Manufacturing sector. A further 2,000 employees are returning to Accommodation and Food Service activities.  A full breakdown of the sectors is set out at Appendix 6 below.

With the Phase Two Plus of the Government’s Roadmap for the Reopening of Society and Business now moving into place and the gradual reopening of the economy, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is advising workers who are returning to work that they must close their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

In order to ensure that their claim is processed correctly, workers who will be returning to work must close their claim for the PUP payment on the actual date that they start back at work.  Since the commencement of Phase One of the Government’s Roadmap for the Reopening of Society and Business, some 82,500 employees are back in work.

The easiest way to close a claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is online via www.mywelfare.ie.  Any worker returning to work with an enquiry about closing their claim, can contact the Department’s dedicated income support helpline at 1890 800 024 (Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm).

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment Checks

As is the case, for all social welfare schemes, the Department conducts a series of pre and post payment checks for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, including:

-        Integrity checks made against records already held by the Department including Public Service Information data and cross checks with payments on other schemes. These help to verify if a person is who they claim to be and that they are entitled to claim payment.

-        a reconciliation process between the Department’s payment file and Revenue’s payment file for the Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.

-        A prior employment status check by comparing all claims for PUP against prior earnings and employment records from Revenue data.

-        As with other welfare schemes, the Department contacts recipients to ensure that they continue to satisfy the eligibility criteria of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

-        Data analytics

-        The Department’s inspection staff also participating with Garda and Customs staff, in security checks on major transport routes and transport hubs.

Following the application of these checks and controls the Department has this week paid 515,700 people, with the vast majority of the claims being paid within a week of receipt. This indicates the efficiency of using data analytics to both identify incorrect claims and ensure prompt processing of valid claims.

Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

There are now over 59,000 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).  Workers whose employers have registered them on the scheme are not eligible to receive a pandemic unemployment payment. In addition workers who were in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment but who have now been registered by their employers on the TWSS are no longer eligible to receive a payment pandemic unemployment payment

Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment

There are now 48,900 people medically certified for receipt of the Covid-19 enhanced Illness Benefit. This predominantly relates to applications in respect of people who have been advised by their GP to self-isolate together with a smaller number in respect of people who have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Please apply online at www.MyWelfare.ie

The Department wishes to thank its customers for submitting the majority of applications through our online portal www.MyWelfare.ie. This is the quickest and easiest way to submit an application and enables the Department to allocate resources to contacting those who submitted invalid applications.

Individuals can close their Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment online at www.MyWelfare.ie.

In the interests of the public health advice and the restrictions on movements please if at all possible do not attend your local Intreo Centre as opening hours have now been restricted. Instead please apply through www.MyWelfare.ie.



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