More than 100 people travelling abroad have pandemic payment stopped after airport checks

Department says payment not made to people on holidays or during quarantine period

The Department of Social Protection said the benefit ‘is not paid to people who go on holidays abroad or when they are going through their 14-day quarantine period”.

The Department of Social Protection said the benefit ‘is not paid to people who go on holidays abroad or when they are going through their 14-day quarantine period”.

 

More than 100 people who received the €350 pandemic unemployment payment had the benefit cut after travelling abroad.

The Department of Social Protection said that “since 7th July, 104 cases of pandemic unemployment payment have been stopped as a result of work done in the airports”.

It also said that “in addition, 44 other social welfare payments (eg jobseeker’s payments, means assessed payments) have also been closed”.

It said the benefit “is not paid to people who go on holidays abroad or when they are going through their 14-day quarantine period”.

The statement follows a Business Post report that payments had been stopped following checks at airports and because they were boarding a flight in breach of the rules.

Cases would be considered “whereby somebody in receipt of PUP [Pandemic Unemployment Payment] has to travel abroad for urgent or exceptional reasons”.

The statement explained that department officials carry out regular inspections of those travelling through Irish airports.

‘Resident in Ireland’

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that to receive the pandemic payment “you have to be genuinely seeking work and you have to be ordinarily resident in Ireland”.

Mr Varadkar said the department gets information from the airports and if somebody “is not genuinely seeking work or is not genuinely living in the country any more their payment can be stopped”.

When it was put to him that people on social welfare had not previously been stopped from going on a holiday, Mr Varadkar replied: “If you’re in receipt of the jobseeker’s allowance for example you are allowed to take a break away of up to two weeks, but beyond that it can be stopped.”