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Almost 90% of applicants receive Covid-19 unemployment payment

About 30,000 people rejected because they are ineligible or submitted incorrect information

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has made the €350 a week payment to 283,000 people who have become unemployed during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Almost 90 per cent applications for the Government’s emergency unemployment payment from people who lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have been approved.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has to date made the €350 weekly payment to 283,000 people out of work because of the outbreak.

About 30,000 who applied for the payment before March 26th did not receive it on Tuesday because they were ineligible or their application contained incorrect information.

Around half of these were deemed ineligible because they were not aged 18 to 66 or had been unemployed or not in self-employment before March 13th. They may also be ineligible because they were not laid off or lost their own business because of the outbreak, received some pay or were not fully unemployed, or were not resident in the State.

A department spokeswoman said an appeals process does not apply for turned down applicants because the Covid-19 scheme is an emergency payment.

The department said a further 15,000 people submitted applications containing incorrect information such PPS numbers or bank account details. “The department is making every effort to contact all of these customers as soon as possible. However, this is proving difficult and will take some time.”

These applicants were encouraged, if they believe they are eligible, to resubmit their application on the website, clearly stating their last date of employment.

The department said that if they are eligible, payment will be made as soon as possible. For applications received before Thursday, a one-week payment will made the following Tuesday. The initial payment would be €350 and arrears due will be calculated and paid at a future date.

More than 35,800 employers have registered with Revenue for the Government’s wage subsidy scheme set up to help companies who cannot pay their staff due to the pandemic but who want to retain links with employees so they can be return when businesses reopen after the crisis.

Under the scheme, employers will be paid up to 70 per cent of an employee’s take-home pay, up to a maximum weekly tax-free payment of €410, which is equal to 70 per cent of take-home weekly income on a €38,000 salary.

Employers are expected to make best efforts to maintain as close to 100 per cent normal income for the subsidised period. To qualify for the scheme they must show that they have experienced significant economic disruption due to Covid-19 and have lost at least 25 per cent of turnover.

The department said about 4 per cent of the 283,000 people receiving the unemployment payment - some 11,000 - had their money paid to a post office as they did not have bank accounts.

A spokeswoman said that to reduce queues at post offices during payment pick-ups, the department is making social welfare and other Covid19-related payments on a fortnightly basis, and these can be collected for up to 90 days.

People also have the option of having their payment collected by an appointed person or they can switch their payments to a bank account if they fill out particular forms.

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Almost 90% of applicants receive Covid-19 unemployment payment

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