6 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy
On Friday 3rd April 2020, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection issued payments to 507,000 people in respect of their application for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. These payments are in addition to the 207,000 people on the Live Register on 3rd April and approximately 39,000 employers have now registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy scheme.
All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment payments issued on Friday will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office from tomorrow, Tuesday 7th April. The level of payments reflects the unprecedented demand for the Department’s income supports since Friday 13th March.
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty today 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.”
Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
In total (since launch on the 16th March, 2020), and excluding duplicate claims, the Department processed applications from 583,000 people for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or a jobseeker’s payment.
To date, approx.19,000 people have asked to close their Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Taking account of the claims that have now been closed the Department has issued payments to 90% of people who made claims. However, approximately 46,000 payments were withheld for various reasons.
The reasons payments were withheld included that the people concerned were already in receipt of a jobseeker payment prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, 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 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. In addition, work is underway in relation to the online applications process, to minimise the capacity to enter incorrect data in order to reduce the number of invalid applications.
We wish to remind people to 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. One common mistake people are making for those with Bank of Ireland Accounts. Some customers when filling out the IBAN are using BO1 as opposed to BOI. This will cause their application to be rejected when the Department processes their applications.
Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme
There are now 39,000 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.
Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment
The Department has to date received 23,800 applications for the enhanced Illness Benefit.
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.