The Department recently contacted a number of customers through their MyWelfare Account to validate their employment details. This is part of the Department’s ongoing control of COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has become aware that some members of the public have received text messages on their mobile phones from an unknown number telling them that they are entitled to the COVID-19 payment and to click on a link provided which is socialwelfareireland. When the person clicks on the link, they are then asked to provide their Bank Account details.
The Department wishes to advise customers and the public that this text message is a scam and the link has nothing to do with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. Please do not click on the link or reply to the text.
Anyone who thinks they provided personal information in response to these fraudulent text messages should contact their bank immediately.
Notice for People receiving Maternity, Paternity, Adoptive, Parent’s and Health and Safety Benefits
The payment of Maternity, Paternity, Adoptive, Parents and Health and Safety Benefits are being reverted to a weekly payment schedule with effect from this week. They had been moved to fortnightly payments since the end of March in line with all other social welfare payments when the department made the change in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These particular payments are paid directly into the person’s bank account. Reverting these payments to being paid weekly will not affect the department’s commitment to reduce footfall as requested by the HSE and WHO.
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.
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 Temporary 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 Temporary 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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