16 Sep 2020

You can still claim Pandemic Payment

The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, T.D., has today secured Government approval to keep the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) open to new applicants until the end of 2020. 

It also means that anyone unfortunate enough to be laid off for a second time will be able to avail of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Commenting on the extension, Minister Humphreys said:

“The PUP has been shown to be an extremely effective tool in responding to the economic impact of Covid-19 and in cushioning the population from sudden income shocks.

“The Government has agreed to my proposal to keep the scheme open to new applicants until the end of the year.

“With the continuing uncertainty posed by Covid-19, I believe keeping PUP open is a fair and appropriate course of action at this time.”

Extension of the waiver on waiting days for jobseeker payments

Minister Humphreys has also secured Government approval to extend the waiver on waiting days for Jobseeker payments until 2021.

Ordinarily, when a person makes an application for a jobseeker’s benefit or allowance, payment is not made for the first three days of unemployment, called 'waiting days’. These waiting days will continue to be waived on applications for Jobseeker’s payments until 2021.

Minister Humphreys said:

“The extension of the waiver on waiting days for jobseeker’s payments ensures that people who lose their employment and claim a jobseeker’s payment are provided with income support immediately. I am happy to secure this important measure to mitigate the financial impact on people and their families at this time.”

Changes to Payment Rates

As was announced as part of the July Jobs Stimulus package the Pandemic Unemployment Payment rates will change on the 17th September 2020, 1st February 2021 and on 1st April 2021.

From 17th September 2020 the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will move from 2 rates of payment to 3 rates.

The rate a recipient will receive will depend on the amount they previously earned:

• If they earned over €300 per week - they will now receive €300 per week.

• If they earned between €200 and €300 per week - the rate of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will now be €250 per week; and

• If they earned less than €200 per week - the rate of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be €203 per week (there is no change to this rate).

Recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will see the impact of these changes in their bank accounts on Tuesday, September 22nd.

Individuals do not need to contact the Department about their earnings. The Department has access to this information from the Revenue Commissioners and will be contacting PUP recipients in advance of these changes informing them of their new rate of payment.

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