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Pandemic unemployment payments issued to over 500,000

LAST Friday, 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 April 3 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 April 7.  The level of payments reflects the unprecedented demand for the Department’s income supports since Friday March 13.

In total, since launching on March 16 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.

There are now 39,000 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme and the department has to date received 23,800 applications for the enhanced Illness Benefit.

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