Update on social welfare payments

The Government has put revised social welfare payments in place for 12 weeks because of the coronavirus crisis.

These payments are only available to people who’ve lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19. They can’t be claimed by people working from home or by those whose employer is availing of the temporary wage subsidy announced yesterday.

Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment

The Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment has been increased from €203 to €350. It’s available to employees and self-employed who are out of work due to the coronavirus crisis.

Those who had already been receiving the payment don’t need to reapply. The increased amount will be automatically allocated.

Eligible people who have at least one adult and one child dependant, or those who have four or more child dependants, may be entitled to a higher rate of payment. They should apply for a jobseeker’s payment instead of the Covid-19 payment.

While current pressures mean it may take some time to process applications, those eligible will receive a minimum of €350 per week with any additional payments being backdated.

Covid-19 illness benefit 

The enhanced illness benefit has also been increased to €350 per week to encourage self-isolation and remove any discrepancy between those affected by the medical and economic impacts of the pandemic.

Fórsa is strongly urging people to apply online in order to reduce the chance of spreading the virus – and to speed up payments.

Existing social welfare payments

For those receiving social welfare assistance in the form of carers, working family, or one-parent family payments can also claim the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment while retaining their existing benefits, provided they lost their job as a result of the coronavirus.

The personal amounts for all core weekly social welfare payments remain unchanged. The only increased payments are the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment and the enhanced illness benefit. Both are temporary measures.