Update on payments awarded for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Enhanced Illness Benefit

Today, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection issued payments to 584,000 people in respect of their application for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Around 50,000 are receiving a payment for the first time.

These payments are in addition to the 212,000 people on the Live Register and over 46,000 employers have now registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy scheme.

All COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office tomorrow, Tuesday 21 April.

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty today said:

“Between our COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, those on the Live Register and workers who are benefitting from the Wage Subsidy Scheme, over a million people are receiving some sort of state income support – a situation unparalleled in our nation’s history. This is a temporary health emergency and many sectors of the economy will be able to switch back on relatively quickly once the danger has passed.
“However, some sectors will be slower than others to recover and we will also have a challenge with youth employment as many young people who could have expected to have entered a buoyant jobs market will now face a much more complex environment. Understanding this, my department is already planning for the post-pandemic environment and considering the best measures to help every worker to get back into the labour force as quickly as possible.”

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

In total (since launch on 16 March 2020), and excluding duplicate claims, the department processed applications from 672,000 people for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or a jobseeker’s payment.

To date, over 51,000 people have contacted the department to close their COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The majority of these requests are because employers are taking people back onto their payroll under the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

However, approximately 52,000 payments have been withheld for a variety of reasons. These include the people concerned who were still in employment, who had not been in employment prior to claiming the COVID-19 payment, a Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy was being paid in their name, who were not resident in the State or because they submitted incorrect details including invalid PPSNs and IBANs.

The department 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. We wish to remind people to take care when submitting applications, to ensure that critical information such as dates of birth, PPSNs and IBANs are entered correctly. An IBAN has 22 characters and people should take care that it is entered correctly. Any errors by individuals in submitting their incorrect IBAN or PPSN will cause their application to be rejected by the department.

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

There are now over 46,000 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.

The department is aware that some workers may be incorrectly registered as part of the TWSS or may face difficulty in transitioning back from the pandemic unemployment payment to the employer payroll. Such a situation may arise, for example, because a worker has been registered in error by their employer, or because an employer having registered for the TWSS has since ceased operating their payroll, or, due to differences in the weekly payment pattern of the pandemic unemployment payment as compared with a monthly or fortnightly payroll from the employer. Any worker affected by these issues can contact the department and arrangements will be made to restore their payment or provide them with interim income support as appropriate.

COVID-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment

There are now 32,000 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 MyWelfare.ie.

The department wishes to thank its customers for submitting the majority of applications through our online portal 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 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 MyWelfare.ie.

County and Sectoral breakdowns

Details on county breakdown and sectoral breakdown are in listed in the attached Appendix.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is an emergency payment for employees and the self-employed who have lost their income and are fully unemployed due to the pandemic. It is paid at a rate of €350 per week into a customer’s bank account. The quickest and easiest way for everyone to apply for this emergency payment is online at MyWelfare.ie.

Jobseeker’s Payments

Those individuals who have an adult dependant and at least one child, or if they are single and have four or more children, after applying for the emergency payment should also apply for a jobseeker’s payment to receive their full social welfare entitlements. The quickest and easiest way for everyone to apply for a jobseeker’s payment is online at MyWelfare.ie.

Enhanced Illness Benefit for COVID-19 Cases

The government introduced an enhanced Illness Benefit payment for all cases where individuals have been medically certified to self-isolate or have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It is paid at a rate of €350 per week. Please note that it is not possible to be paid a COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the enhanced Illness Benefit payment concurrently. If you have lost your employment or are diagnosed with COVID-19 and you apply for income support you will be paid €350 per week from the department.

The quickest and easiest way for everyone to apply for this emergency payment is online at MyWelfare.ie.

Appendix

Analysis of the Pandemic Unemployment Payments

There are 584,000 people in receipt a Pandemic Unemployment Payment on 21 April 2020, of which 252,000 were female and 332,000 were male.

County Breakdown

County Number of people in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payments on 21st April 2020 Number of people in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payments on 14th April 2020
Carlow 7,700 7,200
Cavan 9,500 8,600
Clare 14,300 13,000
Cork 60,400 55,600
Donegal 22,000 20,000
Dublin 169,100 152,700
Galway 31,600 29,100
Kerry 21,500 19,600
Kildare 25,500 23,400
Kilkenny 10,400 9,600
Laois 8,400 7,700
Leitrim 4,000 3,700
Limerick 22,100 20,000
Longford 4,400 4,000
Louth 16,900 15,400
Mayo 16,100 14,900
Meath 24,500 22,400
Monaghan 7,900 7,200
Offaly 8,700 8,000
Roscommon 7,000 6,300
Sligo 7,600 7,000
Tipperary 18,400 16,900
Waterford 13,900 12,900
Westmeath 11,600 10,600
Wexford 20,100 18,400
Wicklow 18,200 16,600
County not included 2,200 2,200
Total 584,000 533,000

Sector Breakdown

The highest sector with people in receipt of PUPs is Accommodation and Food Service activities (126,000), followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade (88,400) and Construction (77,400).

Industrial Sector Number of people in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payments on 21st April 2020 Number of people in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payments on 14th April 2020
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Mining and Quarrying 8,000 7,000
Manufacturing 36,700 33,700
Electricity, Gas supply; Water supply, sewerage and waste management 1,900 1,800
Construction 77,400 71,000
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and motorcycles 88,400 81,400
Transportation and storage 17,600 16,000
Accommodation and food service activities 126,000 115,500
Information and communication activities 11,400 10,200
Financial and insurance activities 12,100 11,000
Real Estate activities 7,900 7,000
Professional, Scientific and Technical activities 23,800 21,400
Administrative and support service activities 44,300 40,200
Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security 14,000 12,800
Education 22,000 20,300
Human Health and Social Work activities 23,300 21,500
Arts, entertainment and recreation 13,800 12,600
Other Sectors 38,300 34,900
Unclassified or unknown 17,100 14,600
Total 584,000 533,000

Analysis of COVID-19 Illness Benefit Applications

There are 32,000 people medically certified for receipt of a COVID-19 related Illness Benefit payment as of 17 April 2020, of which 18,100 are female and 13,900 are male.

County Breakdown – Enhanced Illness Benefit

County Number of people medically certified 21st April 2020 Number of people medically certified 14th April 2020
Carlow 500 400
Cavan 800 600
Clare 600 500
Cork 4,000 3,500
Donegal 800 700
Dublin 8,700 7,200
Galway 2,100 1,900
Kerry 700 600
Kildare 1,400 1,200
Kilkenny 700 600
Laois 600 500
Leitrim 100 100
Limerick 1,100 1,000
Longford 200 200
Louth 1,000 800
Mayo 700 600
Meath 1,300 1,100
Monaghan 400 400
Offaly 500 500
Roscommon 500 400
Sligo 300 200
Tipperary 1,000 800
Waterford 1,100 1,000
Westmeath 600 500
Wexford 1,100 1,000
Wicklow 1,100 1,000
Other (NI & Foreign Address) 100
Total 32,000 27,300

Sector Breakdown – Enhanced Illness Benefit

Industrial Sector Number of people medically certified 21st April 2020 Number of people medically certified 14th April 2020
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Mining and Quarrying 300 200
Manufacturing 4,200 3,600
Electricity, gas, steam supply; Water supply; Sewerage, waste management 200 200
Construction 1,400 1,400
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and motorcycles 6,900 5,900
Transportation and storage 1,200 1,100
Accommodation and food service activities 1,500 1,200
Information and communication activities 600 500
Financial and insurance activities 1,400 1,200
Real Estate activities 300 200
Professional, Scientific and Technical activities 1,200 1,000
Administrative and support service activities 3,300 2,700
Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security 1,500 1,300
Education 500 500
Human Health and Social Work activities 6,400 5,200
Arts, entertainment and recreation 200 200
Other 800 800
Unclassified or unknown 100 100
Total 32,000 27,300

Source: Visual Artists Ireland News