30 March 2020
By Elaine Murphy
On Friday 27 March 2020 payments were issued in respect of 283,000 people who were awarded payment of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
These payments are in addition to the 201,000 people in receipt of standard jobseeker payments as of Friday 27 March (an increase of 19,000 on the figure at the end of February).
A further 25,000 wage subsidy payments were made in respect of the Employer Refund Scheme* administered by the Revenue Commissioners on behalf of the Department.
All payments issued on Friday will be in customers’ bank accounts or at their local post office from Tuesday 31 March. The level of payments reflects the unprecedented demand for the Department’s income supports over the past two weeks.
Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
In total (since launch on the 16th March, 2020), the Department received and processed 389,000 applications for the Covid-19 Unemployment Payment. This is equivalent to a 19 month claim-load in two weeks. A significant number of duplicate applications – over 66,000 – were received. Excluding these duplicates, 88% of claims received were put into payment. All of these payments will be paid into customers’ bank accounts on Tuesday, 31 March.
However, some payments were withheld for various reasons.
Of these, approximately 15,000 did not meet eligibility criteria (for example they were not previously in employment, they were under 18 years of age or they were still in employment). A further 8,700 had invalid PPSNs and 6,600 had invalid IBANs.
The Department is working very hard 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.
As we will be contacting the people concerned directly we ask, if at all possible, for affected customers to only contact us if absolutely necessary. All of the Department’s phone lines are extremely busy and it is important that they are available to help people with an immediate and urgent need for assistance. People with an immediate and urgent need should call 1890 800 024. We will do our best to respond as quickly as possible.
We also ask that people take care when submitting applications to ensure that critical information such as dates of birth, PPSN and IBANs are entered correctly. An IBAN has 22 characters and people should take care that it is entered correctly.
Finally, we ask that people submit their applications online via www.mywelfare.ie. The large volume of duplicate applications has consumed a significant amount of staff time and is delaying both the processing of legitimate claims and the contacting of people who have submitted incomplete or incorrect claims.
MyWelfare: Quick and Easy Online Application Process for Everyone
Since the 13th March the Department has developed new online solutions to help make applications for Covid-19 related payments as easy as possible.
The Department’s online portal www.MyWelfare.ie is by far the easiest and quickest way to make an application. All a person needs is their email address, PPSN and bank account details.
Now on www.MyWelfare.ie any person can;
- Apply for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment;
- Apply for Enhanced Illness Benefit for Covid-19 including for self-isolation cases;
- Apply for a Jobseeker’s Payment; and
- Request to close their Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
People who have a verified MyGovID account (this requires a PSC and a verified mobile phone) can also change their payment method (e.g. from a bank to a post office or vice versa). It is relatively easy for a person with a PSC to upgrade to a verified MyGovID account by calling 1890 927 999.
The Department kindly requests all customers who need an emergency Covid-19 Unemployment payment, a Jobseeker’s payment or the enhanced Covid-19 Illness Benefit to please apply via 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 and instead apply through www.MyWelfare.ie