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Press Release

Minister Doherty announces two weeks entitlement in a Single Payment and a public awareness campaign for new Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Published: 19 March 2020
From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, announced today that a single payment to cover two weeks will be made to social welfare customers, beginning next week (Monday, 23 March) as a special response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The single payment giving two weeks of entitlement will be made on some social welfare schemes next week.

Customers on the remaining schemes will be paid the two weeks entitlement in a single payment the following week. These payments will be made to customers who collect their payments at post offices and who are paid into a bank account.

Minister Doherty explained:

“We have to look at every possible measure we can take to promote social distancing. Rather than have recipients attend post offices weekly, we will be paying two weeks’ worth of benefit to cover the weeks of the 23rd March and 30th March to some clients and the weeks of the 30th March and 6th April to others to reduce the frequency of people showing up to collect their entitlements. We will continue to review how we provide our services throughout the current COVID-19 situation.”

The Minister also announced that her department has commenced a public awareness campaign to inform people who may be affected by the economic downturn, that the new Pandemic Unemployment Payment is now available, in addition to the range of supports provided by the department, to both employees and the self-employed.

A radio campaign will run for a period of two weeks across a range of national, regional and urban stations.

Minister Doherty thanked both the public and her staff during what is an unprecedented moment for the department and Ireland’s welfare system.

She said:

“We have never experienced a challenge to our welfare system of this magnitude in living memory. Since last Friday, my department has been assisting an unprecedented increase in the numbers of people seeking income support from the department.
“I’d like to thank all the staff of my department, many of whom have volunteered to work long hours, weekends and the Holiday to work around the clock to meet demand.
“I would also like to thank the public for their patience and forbearance as we try to meet the challenge of a sudden large scale increase in demand for our services. Once more, I would encourage as many as possible to go online and download the application form for the Covid 19 Pandemic Unemployment payment. We are committed to getting payments to everyone as soon as possible.”

An application form for the new Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment can be downloaded from the website and returned to the department via Freepost at PO BOX 12896 Dublin 1.

Members of the public can apply for another income support through the online portal www.MyWelfare.ie, (they will need a Public Services Card); or phone the department on 1890 800 024 or 01 2481398 for the relevant application form for the new payment.


Notes to the Editor:

Details of weekly Social Welfare Payment Arrangements for weeks beginning 23 March and 30 March

People receiving the following payments will be paid for 2 weeks during the week beginning 23 March 2020:

  • Adoptive Benefit
  • Back to Education Allowance
  • Back to Work Allowance
  • Back To Work Enterprise Allowance
  • Blind Pension
  • Carers Allowance
  • Carer's Benefit
  • Death Benefit
  • Deserted Wife's Allowance
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit
  • Disability Allowance
  • Disablement Benefit
  • Employment Support Scheme
  • Guardians Payment (Contributory)
  • Guardians Payment (Non-Contributory)
  • Health and Safety Benefit
  • Illness Benefit
  • Incapacity Supplement
  • Increase for Living on an Island
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Magdalen Commission Scheme
  • Maternity Benefit
  • Medical Care
  • Occupational Injury Benefit
  • Parent's Benefit
  • Partial Capacity Benefit
  • Paternity Benefit
  • State Pension Contributory
  • State Pension Non-Contributory
  • Wage Subsidy Scheme
  • Widow(er)s Pension Contributory
  • Widowed Parent Grant
  • Widowed Parent Grant Con
  • Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension (Non Contributory)
  • Youth Employment Support Scheme

People receiving the following payments will be paid for 2 weeks during the week beginning 30 March 2020:

  • Back to Education Allowance*
  • Back to Work Allowance
  • Back to Work Family Dividend
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  • Creche Supplement
  • Diet Supplement
  • Daily Expenses Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Heat Supplement
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Jobseeker's Benefit
  • Jobseeker's Benefit for the Self Employed
  • One Parent Family Payment
  • Part-time Job Incentive
  • Rent Supplement
  • Short Term Enterprise Allowance
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  • Travel Supplement
  • Working Family Payment

*Some recipients of the Back to Education Allowance will receive 2 weeks payment next week and others will receive their 2 weeks payment the following week.

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