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Latest updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) from DEASP

Published: 26 March 2020
From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

The department is committed to providing information and updates as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation evolves.

Regular updates will be provided on this page and on our Twitter page.

March 26

Payment Notice for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Jobseeker Claims

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has experienced unprecedented demand for income supports including the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Jobseeker's payments since 13 March.

The level of demand equates to 10 months normal claim-load in just 10 working days.

The department wishes to assure its customers that it is processing these claims as fast as possible and that staff have been working long hours, over weekends and bank holidays to ensure that claims are processed.

The first COVID-19 related payments, for approximately 90% of claims received from 13 –19 March were issued last Friday and were in customer’s bank accounts on Tuesday.

Some did not go forward for payment for various reasons. This is normal. For example some claims may not have met eligibility criteria. Other payments may have been held back due an error with an IBAN number or an inconsistency between PPSNs. The department is working very hard to resolve these issues and is contacting the customers concerned directly.

Again this week nearly all claims received since 19 March and up to close of business today (Thursday 26 March) will be processed for payment tomorrow, Friday and will be in customer's bank accounts on Tuesday 31 March.

It is important to note that the department will be processing payments into Irish bank accounts and via the Post Office network only. We wish to reassure people that where they are entitled they will receive a payment from the department as soon as possible. Should there be any issues with your payment the department will contact you directly.

Important Information on COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment Eligibility.

March 24

Increase in the rate of Payment for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The government has made the decision to increase the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment from €203 to €350 per week.

If you are already in receipt of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment you will receive the increase payment on your next payment date.

Increase in the rate of Enhanced Illness Benefit

The Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences has been increased to €350 to bring it in line with the payment under the emergency COVID-19 pandemic unemployment payment.

This is to encourage self-isolation and is in line with the payments for people who have lost employment.

The payment is available for 12 weeks.

New COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

The department’s Employers Refund Scheme announced on 15 March is no longer accepting applications and has been replaced by a new and enhanced COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. This scheme will be administered by the Revenue Commissioners.

Employers who have already signed up for the Employer Refund Scheme announced on 15 March, and who may have received refunds under the current scheme do not need to reapply.

The Revenue Commissioners will contact them directly to confirm that they meet the conditions for this new scheme.

Further information on the new COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme is available from the Revenue website.

Notice for people who have applied for a Jobseeker’s Payment between 13 and 18 March inclusive

A number of people who applied for a Jobseeker’s payment online on or after 13 March and up to 18 March were included in payment run to facilitate an emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment issuing to them. This decision was taken in order to facilitate payment in a timely manner to these customers. The payments were issued to the post office that the customer had nominated when they applied for their Jobseeker’s application. An Post have confirmed that these payments are now available for collection.

Anyone who wishes to have any future payments paid directly into their Bank Account can do so by completing the form available here.

March 20

Update to the new Employer Refund Scheme

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty provided an update on developments regarding her department’s Employer Refund Scheme.

The new scheme allows the employer to pay the worker €203 and receive a refund from the State in the circumstances where the employer has ceased trading and as a result of financial difficulty have to temporarily lay off staff.

Employers engaged with the scheme will be allowed to top up the payment provided by the State.

The details are now being finalised and will be announced early next week.

Extended time to collect payments at post offices

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has made arrangements with An Post that post offices are to hold social welfare payments for an extended period.

All post office payments will be available for collection for 90 days after they are first due for collection.

This measure means that our customers can schedule their post office visits and is in line with arrangements made by the department to promote social distancing.

Minister announces SAFE registration and PPSN allocation appointments temporarily postponed

Over the last number of days the department has experienced a huge demand for our services, in particular for our online appointment service for Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSN) as well as Public Services Cards (PSC). These appointments normally involve a visit to our offices.

In line with the latest Health Service Executive (HSE) and World Health Organization (WHO) advice around social distancing, the department has taken the decision to temporarily postpone PPSN and PSC appointment services with immediate effect.

The department has put arrangements in place to ensure that any person who requires a PPSN will be able to get one and details are available here.

For further details, please see press release.

March 19

Minister announces two weeks entitlement in a single payment

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, has announced 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.

Read more

COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme

The department has introduced a refund scheme for employers. Under an arrangement developed with Revenue, employers who have to temporarily lay-off staff and who are not in a position to make any wage payment to them, are asked to keep their employees on the payroll and pay them an amount of €203 - the equivalent of the COVID-19 Support Payment.

For full scheme details click here.

Read the press release.

Direct Payments

You can now have your payment or benefit paid directly into an account in a financial institution - click here.

Request a Form

If you would like us to post a form to you for one of our schemes, including COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, Jobseeker's Benefit, or Illness Benefit, please send your name and address to the email below.

Request a Form be posted out to you

This email address is only to request that an application form be posted out to you so please supply your name and address. Forms can only be posted to addresses in Ireland.

March 15

Introduction of simplified unemployment payments

The department is introducing a new scheme for anyone whose employer is unable to continue to pay them due to a downturn in business as a result of COVID-19.

You can access the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment below.

Read the press release.

March 14

Customer notice in relation to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is experiencing an unprecedented increase in claims and queries across several of the department’s income support schemes, most notably our Jobseeker's schemes.

Combined with measures to apply social distancing, this large increase in claims caused delays in many of our Intreo Centres yesterday, for which we apologise.

Read more

March 12

Important signing notice

The requirement to sign on at your local Intreo Centre has been suspended with effect from 12 March 2020 until further notice.

Weekly casual dockets will continue to be required as normal.

Read more

New measures to provide income support

The department is introducing measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

3 major changes have been announced:

  • the current 6-day waiting period for Illness Benefit will not apply to anyone who has COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or is in medically-required self-isolation
  • the personal rate of Illness Benefit will increase from €203 per week to €305 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks medically-required self-isolation or for the full duration of absence from work following a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
  • the normal social insurance requirements for Illness Benefit will be changed

Read more

COVID-19 DEASP Additional Customer Information

Additional Information on Illness Benefit under COVID-19 from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.


COVID-19 quick guide

If you are an employee or self-employed and feel you may have COVID-19, or may need to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19