Numbers receiving Covid-19 unemployment payment fall by nearly 12,000

Additional 2,000 people claim payment in Donegal following new restrictions

Heather Humphreys: “Some €55.2m has been paid out in pandemic unemployment payments this week, supporting almost 206,000 people.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Heather Humphreys: “Some €55.2m has been paid out in pandemic unemployment payments this week, supporting almost 206,000 people.” Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The number of people receiving the special Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment has fallen by over 11,500 over the last week to 205,593 .

However, new figures show that about 2,000 additional people in Donegal were receiving the pandemic unemployment benefit this week following the introduction of level three Covid-19 restrictions in the county in late September.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection said on Monday that in the past seven days 7,298 people had closed their claim for the pandemic unemployment payment.

It said that of these 4,969 had reported that they would be returning to work. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection said that some 3,378 people would be receiving their final payment under the scheme on Tuesday.

It also said that payments had ceased for 4,645 individuals who had been receiving the pandemic unemployment payment but who had failed to confirm their eligibility to continue to receive the benefit.

The figures for the number of people receiving the pandemic unemployment payment are in addition to the 211,492 who were on the live register at the end of September.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection also said that the number of people receiving the separate Covid-19 enhanced illness benefit was continuing to increase.

“For the second week in a row the number of people medically certified to receive the enhanced illness benefit has increased in every county.”

There has also been an increase in every sector. The two sectors with the highest number of people medically certified for receipt of a Covid-19 illness benefit payment are wholesale and retail trade (14,670) and human health and social work (13,775), followed by manufacturing (9,711)

.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection said the sector reporting the greatest drop in the numbers receiving the pandemic unemployment payment this week was construction, which stood at 15,170, down 1,743 on last week.

New entrants

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said on Monday: “Some €55.2 million has been paid out in pandemic unemployment payments this week, supporting almost 206,000 people. For the very reason that additional restrictions was a possibility, the Government kept pandemic unemployment payments open for new entrants.

“I really want to emphasise that anyone who is impacted by these new restrictions can avail of the pandemic unemployment payment via MyWelfare.ie”

The new figures show that in Donegal there were 7,946 people receiving the pandemic unemployment payment this week compared with 5,949 on September 29.

In Dublin, where level three Covid-19 restrictions also apply, the number of people claiming the pandemic unemployment payment fell by about 2,500 in the last week to 83,356.

At its peak in early May there were nearly 600,000 people receiving the pandemic unemployment payment.