14 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Today, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection issued payments to 533,000 people in respect of their application for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Around 54,000 are receiving a payment for the first time.
Of the 533,000, some 55,600 are in Cork.
These payments are in addition to the 210,000 people on the Live Register and over 42,000 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 today, Tuesday 14th April.
The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty today said:
“With just over 50,000 additional payments approved in the last week, these figures would suggest that we are perhaps reaching a plateau in terms of those on the Covid payment. Furthermore, increasing numbers of employers are participating in the wage subsidy scheme and approximately 1.4m are still in full time work.
“It is clear that we are living through the most challenging of times. Never before has there been such a need for welfare support from workers and employers, with more than three years’ worth of claims being processed in less than a month. My Department has risen to the challenge and has enhanced our online facilities making it quick and easy for people to apply for an emergency Covid-19 unemployment payment, the enhanced Illness Benefit or indeed to close their Covid-19 claim, or change their payment details. I am very proud of the quick and efficient response of my Department and all that the staff have achieved over the past month.
“This is a temporary health crisis but it needn’t be a permanent economic emergency. As we reach the plateau of those on income support, we hope to bend and lower that curve also – getting as many back to work as soon as possible as and when the health environment permits.”
Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
In total (since launch on the 16th March, 2020), and excluding duplicate claims, the Department processed applications from 625,000 people for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or a jobseeker’s payment.
To date, over 40,000 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 68,000 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, PPSN 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 42,000 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
The Department has to date received 27,300 applications for 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.
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.
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