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Today, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection issued payments valued at €190.2m to 543,200 people in respect of their application for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). This is a reduction of 36,200 on the number of people paid at the same point last week. Amongst the recipients are 28,400 who have now informed the Department that they are returning to work and 20,100 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 57,800 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 508,100 people under that scheme.
The above payments are in addition to the 214,700 people who were reported on the Live Register as of the end of April.
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty today said:
“The peak demand for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment has passed in parallel with the flattening of the COVID-19 curve and each week, if the current progress on the health front holds firm, we will see an incremental drop on the numbers in need of this assistance. However, not everybody will be getting back to work in the first phases of the reopening of our society and, as I confirmed in the Dáil last week, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will extend beyond the original June end date.
“As we gradually move through all the phases of reopening our society, we do need to review the nature of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and how it fits into cross-Government plans to keep Ireland healthy and get the country working again. We are currently considering this and will soon bring forward proposals for some changes. Any future decisions will be based on our commitment that everyone who needs help will get the most appropriate assistance and also based on the ongoing progress we experience from the reopening of the economy.”
All COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office today, Tuesday 2nd June.
People returning to work
Last week, some 33,900 people closed their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment of which 28,400 reported that they were returning to work. Of those 28,400 returning to work, approx. 20,100 are receiving their last unemployment payment this week and are included in the 543,200 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 20,100 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 9,900 workers back in work, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair of Motor vehicles and motorcycles, with 4,300 having returned to work, while 2,800 have returned to their jobs in the Manufacturing sector. A full breakdown of the sectors is set out at Appendix 6 below.
With the first phase of the Government’s Roadmap for the Reopening of Society and Business now in 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 Phase One of the Government’s Roadmap for the Reopening of Society and Business, some 64,000 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 543,200 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.
To date, around 190,000 people have contacted the Department to close their COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme
There are now over 57,800 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 47,800 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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